Man given two-month prison sen­tence for breach­ing or­der

Bray People - - NEWS -

A MAN was sen­tenced to two months in prison for breach­ing a bar­ring or­der in­volv­ing his for­mer part­ner.

Fran­cis Odi­ase (34), 10 Fred­er­ick Street, Dublin 1, has lodged an ap­peal so was re­leased fol­low­ing his ap­pear­ance in Bray District Court last Thurs­day.

The court heard that Paula Crean made the com­plaint on Septem­ber 7, 2016, fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent on Au­gust 25.

Ms Crean told the court that she had pre­vi­ously ap­plied for a bar­ring or­der.

‘He had gone to Nige­ria for three weeks. While he was gone I asked for a bar­ring or­der as he had been vi­o­lent and abu­sive to me,’ she said.

She told the court that on the day in ques­tion he was sup­posed to ar­rive at Bray Dart Sta­tion at noon to col­lect their child but ar­rived at 12.45 p.m.

‘I said she [their daugh­ter] had been up­set; he said he’ll turn up when he wants,’ she said.

‘He rang me at 2 or 2.30 to col­lect her,’ said Ms Crean. ‘ They were down the beach.’

She said that an al­ter­ca­tion arose be­tween them in which Odi­ase was call­ing her names, would not let go of the child, and said she was go­ing nowhere.

‘A woman came over and asked if I was OK,’ said Ms Crean. ‘He said I was noth­ing but a b*tch, a fat pig. It was very in­tim­i­dat­ing.’

She agreed in cross-ex­am­i­na­tion that those words may not have been ex­changed at the beach, but at the Dart sta­tion.

She said that when she threat­ened to call the gar­daí, he let go of the child.

‘He had spat at me be­fore, and called me names pre­vi­ous times,’ said Ms Crean.

Bar­ris­ter Eibh­lín Ní Raghal­laigh said that there was noth­ing in her state­ment about him call­ing her any names at the seafront.

‘Maybe not fat pig, but he was scream­ing and shout­ing in my face,’ Ms Crean said.

‘My client in­structs that mat­ters did not hap­pen in the way you de­scribed. He de­nies shout­ing at you, he de­nies be­ing in­tim­i­dat­ing to you,’ said Ms Ní Raghal­laigh.

A wit­ness who was in the har­bour area on Au­gust 25 and knew nei­ther party, told the court that she in­ter­vened.

‘I was there with my nephew, niece and mum,’ said the woman. ‘I over­heard a man’s voice, very loud and ar­gu­men­ta­tive.

‘A man and a woman were ar­gu­ing and a child was caught in be­tween. My nephew got up­set. The man seemed very an­gry and the child was very dis­tressed. I de­cided to in­ter­vene, go and ask if they were OK and if they needed me to call the gar­daí.

‘He was ar­gu­ing with the lady. She seemed to be try­ing to keep calm. I was con­cerned for the woman and child and wanted to make sure they were safe.’

She said that while she was un­sure of the time, she thought it might have been lunchtime as she and her fam­ily went to get some­thing to eat af­ter the in­ci­dent.

She said that she couldn’t re­call if the lan­guage used was vul­gar, but that it was heated.

Ms Ní Raghal­laigh ar­gued that there was a dis­crep­ancy re­gard­ing the time of the spe­cific in­ci­dent, with Ms Crean say­ing it oc­curred at around 3 p.m., and the in­de­pen­dent wit­ness be­liev­ing it oc­curred closer to 1 p.m.

She said also that two in­ci­dents had been re­ferred to, at the sta­tion and at the seafront, and the charge sheet was not spe­cific.

Judge David Kennedy said that he was sat­is­fied that the in­ci­dent in ques­tion was the sec­ond one, on the beach. With re­gard to time, he said that peo­ple would not ex­actly have been look­ing at their watches, on a sum­mer’s day on the beach in Bray.

‘ There were cer­tain in­con­sis­ten­cies,’ he said. But not enough to dis­miss the case.

Odi­ase told the court that he ar­rived at the sta­tion at noon, and phoned Ms Crean at 3 p.m.

He said that the child was hold­ing his leg, and that Ms Crean shouted ‘you black b*****d’ at him.

He said that a friend of Ms Crean’s also shouted at him. ‘ They were the ones shout­ing at me and call­ing me names,’ he said. ‘I did not. I can’t do that in the pres­ence of my daugh­ter.’

They went to Mc­Don­alds and then the seafront, he said. Odi­ase told the court that he was aware of the set vis­it­ing hours with his daugh­ter and very clear on those.

‘I have to be sat­is­fied be­yond rea­son­able doubt that an of­fence took place,’ said Judge David Kennedy. ‘In his own ev­i­dence, he said that he ar­rived down and Ms Crean started abus­ing him with racial lan­guage. The in­de­pen­dent wit­ness has no con­nec­tion to ei­ther party. The words “black b*****d’” are so shock­ing that, if heard, they would have been re­mem­bered.

‘I can’t ac­cept his ev­i­dence re­gard­ing this. Both the in­jured party and the in­de­pen­dent wit­ness gave ev­i­dence as to his de­meanour. That ev­i­dence is to­tally in con­tra­ven­tion with his ver­sion of events.

‘He gave to­tally un­be­liev­able ev­i­dence and ac­cused Ms Crean of ra­cially abus­ing him. I don’t know what his rea­son is for that – it’s to­tally in­com­pre­hen­si­ble and un­be­liev­able.’

He noted that a to­tally in­de­pen­dent wit­ness had felt strongly enough to in­ter­vene and sug­gest call­ing the gar­daí.

Ms Ní Raghal­laigh told the court that mat­ters have cooled off be­tween the par­ties since that time and there have been no fur­ther com­plaints.

In hand­ing down the sen­tence, Judge Kennedy said ‘ had he ap­proached the mat­ter dif­fer­ently I would have con­sid­ered sus­pend­ing the term.’

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