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Longford mother tells court Gardai saved her life during violent attack by ex-partner

Feb 25, 2021 15:02 By Shannonside News
Longford mother tells court Gardai saved her life during violent attack by ex-partner Longford mother tells court Gardai saved her life during violent attack by ex-partner
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A mother of three has told of how she is lucky to be alive after quick-thinking gardai found her ex-partner strangling her in

A mother of three has told of how she is lucky to be alive after quick-thinking gardai found her ex-partner strangling her in bed over a year ago.

The woman said she would not be able to relive the moments which led up to an incident at her home in Co Longford in September 2019 had gardai not arrived on the scene when they did.

She told a sitting of Longford Circuit Criminal Court of how being pinned to a bed and choked by her then partner Brendan Kelleher, Drumlish Hill, Drumlish, Co Longford, had left her with everyday emotional, mental and psychological scars.

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"If I hadn't that gut feeling to leave the front door ajar for the guards I know I wouldn't be here today," she said.

"I'd be dead, plain and simple."

The woman, who is now in a new relationship and recently given birth to twins, said the trauma of what happened had left her with a deep hatred of the accused.

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"It's not normal that I break into a sweat still coming into Longford," she told Mr Kelleher.

"Even the thought of it makes me physically sick and I despise you for that."

The court heard how gardai had called to a domestic violence incident on September 9, 2019.

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Garda Shane O'Connor said on arrival and after finding the front door slightly ajar, the accused was observed lying on top of the victim with one hand gripped around the woman's neck and the other covering her mouth.

He said after pulling Mr Kelleher off the victim, he said the young Longford mother was in an "extremely distressed state", unable to communicate with fingerprint marks clearly visible around both her neck and face.

The court was told Mr Kelleher, who was later charged with a Section 3 assault, had previously been convicted of breaching a barring order in February 2015.

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It was also revealed Mr Kelleher had over half a dozen previous convictions to his name, all fuelled by an addiction to alcohol.

Mr Kelleher expressed remorse over the incident and alluded to his own attempts to rehabilitate himself by undergoing a three-month alcohol addiction treatment programme in Cuan Mhuire.

"I am truly sorry," he told Judge Keenan Johnson.

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"It should never have happened, especially to the mother of my child. I am ashamed to sit here and say I done that."

Judge Johnson took issue with Mr Kelleher's expression of apology and questioned a letter detailing that level of remorse from the defendant to his victim in which the general operative apologised with the words "If I hurt you".

He said: "How do you explain to your daughter what you did to her mother?"

Judge Johnson adjourned sentencing until October 5 2021 for the preparation of a probation report.

If deemed positive, the court was told a two and a half year sentence would be handed down and suspended for ten years provided Mr Kelleher adhered to a number of strict conditions.

"The keys to prison are in your hands," Judge Johnson told Mr Kelleher.

The case is expected to return before a sitting of Longford Circuit Criminal Court on October 5 2021.

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