Wife fined ¤200 for breaching estranged husband's safety order
THE PROSECUTION of a woman accused of breaching a safety order taken out by her estranged husband was dealt with in her absence at Enniscorthy District Court last week.
There was no sign of Geraldine Fernihough (46) of Hillview in Oulart when the case was first called by court clerk Brian Leonard at the courthouse in Ardcavan on Wednesday. She was accused of putting Richard Fernihough in fear at The Trading Post in The Ballagh on August 30, 2008.
Supt. Peter Finn confirmed that, though the defendant was absent, the garda dealing with the matter with a witness were present in court and they were ready to give evidence. Judge Donnchadh Ó Buachalla decided to put the matter back for a little while to see if she would appear.
However, there was no sign of her when the matter was re-called. The superintendent pointed out that the case had been before the court for a long time and he was prepared to press ahead with the hearing.
Richard Fernihough was called to give evidence of what occurred on the forecourt of The Trading Post on the morning of the date in question. He explained that he went there that morning in order to pick up his son, in a small two-seater sports car.
As she handed the child over and the youngster got into the car, Geraldine Fernihough became agitated about arrangements for the son to attend her father's anniversary Mass. This issue had already been dealt with in court proceedings, said Richard Fernihough. She continued to abuse him.
He told the court that she lost all control. As he attempted to telephone the Gardaí, she climbed into the sports car and took away the phone. Father and son eventually made their escape and went to the witness's home half a mile away.
In due course Blackwater-based Garda Frank Murphy arrived at The Trading Post where he discovered Ms. Fernihough in a distressed state. When he went to her husband's home, he discovered that the boy was very upset.
The Garda confirmed that the absent accused had no previous convictions. However, he told Judge Ó Buachalla that it was what he called an 'ongoing matter'. The judge commented that he was already dealing with different aspects of this in the family court.
He imposed a conviction for the breach of the safety order, set a fine of €200 and ordered Geraldine Fernihough to enter a bond to be of good behaviour for two years.