A 61 year old man has been given a suspended prison sentence for assault on his then wife at their home in 2018.
Naseem Ahmad, with an address at Derrynane, Clybaun Road, Galway City was convicted of assault after a hearing at Galway District Court.
He denied the charges under Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.
His former wife, they have since separated, alleged that on the evening of September 2, 2018, before she put the kids to bed he grabbed her by the neck and pushed her around like an “animal” for several minutes.
They’d had an disagreement shortly beforehand she said, where she asked him to drive her to the shop for back to school gear as it was getting late and she does not drive, but Ahamd told her she could walk, it was said.
She spoke with a friend on WhatsApp after the assault asking what to do, and her friend told her to call the gardaí.
Believing that she needed credit to call 999 on her mobile, the woman said that she couldn’t, and her friend called COPE Galway where a staff member contacted the gardaí.
The court heard that Mr Ahmad and his wife, who is 31 years younger than him, were married in Pakistan in 2013.
Mr Ahmad has lived in Ireland for 40 years, but after their wedding they lived in Pakistan for a year before returning to Ireland in 2014.
The woman said that their marriage had deteriorated in the years since and that he was frequently abusive to her.
Sgt Alish Hynes told the District Court that on the day in question they went to house on the Clybaun road in response to a call about a potential domestic assault.
The defendant answered the door and let them in when they explained why they were there.
When speaking with the injured party she seemed “extremely distressed” Sgt Hynes said, and alleged that her husband had assaulted her shortly beforehand.
The sergeant also gave evidence that Mr Ahmad told her that his wife had mental health issues.
Taking the stand in his own defence, Ahmad gave a very different account of events, saying that they had gone to the shop that day, and argued about money.
He claimed that she spent all his money and asked for more for back to school gear, before dipping into money he had been saving so she could visit her family in Pakistan.
She described this as a “scripted story” when it was put to her by the defence solicitor, saying she had no plans to return to Pakistan.
He also claimed that she had said she could have him thrown out of the house if she called gardaí, and that she punched him in the stomach during their argument.
Judge Mary Fahy said that this case was highly disputed, and that it seemed the two sides didn’t agree on even basic facts.
The truth likely lies somewhere in between the accounts the judge said, but that she believed that he assaulted his wife.
The judge added that it is a serious assault, but that “thankfully he didn’t go on to injure her”.
Judge Fahy imposed a one month prison sentence and suspended it for one year on the condition that Ahmad be of good behaviour.
Recognisance was fixed at €200 in the event of an appeal, with half of that to be lodged with the court.