Athy court house
A woman who claimed her husband raped her was granted a 12 month safety order at Athy District Court on Tuesday, February 12, 2019
The couple who cannot be named for legal reasons have three children together and now live separately.
The court heard that the husband is a good father but the wife lives under a constant threat of sexual violence even though they are split up. The wife told the court that her husband is very jealous and controlling and obsessed with her. She said that he accused her of having multiple partners and lots of lovers. She claimed that he put a device on her phone to monitor her every move and keep her under surveillance.
The court heard that he believes that he is entitled to a sexual relationship because they are still married. She told the court under oath that he held her down by the wrists and sexually assaulted her. Judge Desmond Zaidan asked if she reported the incident to the gardai and she said that she did but was told to go to the Rape Crisis Centre in Dublin.
"I was told by a rape counsellor that because I was in a marriage it was very hard to prove," she said.
The court heard that although the couple have not shared a marital bed since 2017 he would arrive at her bedroom door at 3am and assault her in her sleep while they still shared a house with their children. The husband denied the allegation and Judge Desmond Zaidan acknowledged that his order was granted on a low proof basis as a result.
He said that his order could not be used in any other legal proceeding against the husband.
He also ordered the husband to pay €90 a week in maintenance for his children after an offer of €60 was made by his solicitor.
"I could send him to prison if he fails to comply with a court order," Judge Desmond Zaidan said in reference to a recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled on a case whereby a father would spend an indefinite period in custody until the child maintenance was paid up in full.
"If he had to look after those kids 24 /7 he would know all about it - it is a full time job and a lot of patience is required - this is not maintenance for his wife -this is for his kids," he said.
He was given access to the children every second weekend.