Tuesday 17 September 2019

Man who assaulted ex-partner is jailed

A man who smashed all the windows of his ex partner's car and assaulted both her and a member of the gardai was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at a special sitting of Gorey District Court recently.

Richard Kelly who had a previous address at 24 Oaktree Heights, Castlebridge, but is now listed as No Fixed Abode was charged with assaulting Jessica Conway, production of a hatchet in the course of a dispute, assaulting Garda Brendan Leamy, criminal damage to the car of Jessica Conway and breaching a protection order. All offences occurred at his home of 24 Oaktree Heights on April 24, 2016.

He was further charged with assaulting Mark Jordan causing him harm in his own home on May 22, 2012, being intoxicated in a public place on September 5, 2012, unlawful possession of drugs on December 4, 2101, being intoxicated in a public place on December 26, 2012, theft from Tesco on August 30, 2013, being drunk and disorderly on January 25, 2014, breaching a protection order and criminal damage on April 7, 2014.

Evidence in all cases with the exception of the incident on April 24, 2016 had been given to the court on previous dates.

Solicitor Tim Cummings, acting for Kelly, said that several charges pre-date the incident on April 25 and there had been a probation report prepared in respect of these. He said that detailed psychological and educational psychological reports had also been prepared. He said that Kelly had also spend three months in custody in respect of the charges that occurred before mid April.

Garda Brendan Leamy said that on April 24, 2016 he received a report of a man with a hatchet at Oaktree Heights and went there. On arrival he saw Kelly carrying a hatchet with his hoody up. He was walking around a car and had smashed all the windows of the car.

When he saw gardai he fled into the driveway of his family home. Garda Leamy asked Kelly's mother if he could enter and she agreed. Kelly approached Garda Leamy in an aggressive manner and Garda Leamy, not knowing if he still had the hatchet, asked him to lie down. Kelly was 'extremely aggressive and said 'f**k off, come get me, come and f**king get me',

Garda Leamy then took out his baton and told Kelly to get back but Kelly 'kept charging' and Garda Leamy swung the baton hitting Kelly on the right thigh.

Kelly kept coming at him with his fists up and Garda Leamy struck him on his left thigh.

Kelly then struck Garda Leany on the side of his face at the right side of his eye and another member of the gardai directed Kelly to get back and used his pepper spray on Kelly but he still kept coming and Garda Leamy then used his pepper spray. With the assistance of a number of gardai Kelly was restrained.

Garda Leamy said that after five minutes Kelly was no longer aggressive and apologised for his behaviour and apologised later that evening again.

Garda Leamy told the court that every time Kelly meets him he apologises for his behaviour on that day.

He agreed with solicitor Tim Cummings that Kelly had a 'Jekyll and Hyde' type personality.

Jessica Conway, Kelly's ex-partner, said that on the day she had been receiving intimidating text messages from Kelly and having seen him in the car with his mother went to the family home to ask him to stop. She said that she felt that asking him in the presence of his mother would mean the end of the matter.

She said on arrival Kelly got into her car and tried to take her phone. She said there was lots of screaming and shouting and Kelly picked up his bag and took out the hatchet before he started to smash the windows of her car saying he was 'going to kill' her.

She said that before he started to smash up her car he had slapped her across the face.

Ms Conway agreed with Mr Cummings when he said there was good in Kelly.

The court heard Kelly had 14 previous convictions.

Mr Cummings said that prior to April 24 Kelly had been making huge progress which can be seen from the probation report. 'He threw all that progress away on April 24'. he said.

He said that prior to April 24 Kelly had been trying to get help but there wasn't a suitable programme for him in Wexford to deal with his chronic anger and mixed personality disorder.

'He seems to present as two different people' said Mr Cummings.

He said that on April 24 he had drank nine bottles of cider and thought he could cope. He said that a psychiatric report had been prepared while Kelly was in custody adding he had been in custody since April 25, the day after the incident.

Mr Cummings said Kelly was deeply ashamed by his actions and said he is currently on an enhanced wing in Cloverhill. He also added that Kelly is no longer welcome back at the family home in Oaktree Heights.

Judge Gerard Haughton said that on May 22, 2012 Kelly had committed a 'very serious assault' on Mark Jordan in his own home and had 'beaten him until he couldn't move'.

He said that the probation report compiled before April 24, 2016 had recommended 12 months probation and 'if the clock stopped on April 23 I would have almost certainly followed the recommendations but in a different way' saying the likelihood was that he would have imposed a suspended sentence.

In respect of the assault on Mark Jordan he sentenced Kelly to nine months imprisonment which he backdated until April 25 when Kelly went into custody. In respect of the breach of the safety order on July 7 he sentenced him to six months imprisonment to run concurrently and a further concurrent six month sentence was imposed for the criminal damage on July 7.

In respect of the charges relating to April 24 of this year he sentenced him to nine months imprisonment for the production of the hatchet to run consecutively to the nine months previously imposed.

He sentenced him nine months for the damage to Ms Conway's car to run concurrent to this sentence. In respect of the breach of the protection order he sentenced him to nine months and sentenced him to five months imprisonment on each of the charges of assaulting Jessica Conway and Garda Leamy. He took the rest of the matters into account. He suspended the final three months of the sentence giving Kelly a total prison sentence of 15 months.

Wexford People