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Man who beat wife so badly she was left in a coma is jailed for eight years

Anthony Kelleher
Anthony Kelleher

A father of two has been jailed for eight years for a savage assault which left his wife with horrific injuries including a brain wound, a collapsed lung and a lacerated liver.

Anthony Kelleher (42) was convicted of assault causing serious harm to his wife, Siobhan (36), despite the fact the woman refused to give evidence at his Cork Circuit Criminal Court trial.

Judge Sean O'Donnabháin noted that Ms Kelleher had sustained such serious injuries she went into a coma - and then sustained a stroke.

"She suffered severe, permanent and life-changing injuries," he said.

"I acknowledge that the family situation is in ruins and will never be reconstructed. Extraordinary hardship has been visited on innocent children."

Judge O'Donnabháin acknowledged defence submissions that Kelleher was a hard-working man and had not seen his children since his conviction because he did not want to expose them to prison conditions.

Ms Kelleher had wept as her husband was taken into custody last February following the week-long trial.

She was placed in a medically induced coma on June 12, 2014, after being discovered by paramedics with serious injuries at her home at Raleigh North, Macroom, Co Cork.

Her husband had raised the alarm and insisted she had sustained a severe fall.

The trial heard that Ms Kelleher was in a critical condition by the time she arrived at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

She later suffered a stroke.

Anthony Kelleher had vehemently denied assaulting his wife of six years.

The couple had married in Cyprus in 2008.

However, he was unanimously convicted by a jury of nine men and three women after one hour and 15 minutes of deliberations.

The trial heard that Gardaí received a complaint from the woman about her husband's behaviour.

She alleged that he came home "ranting and raving", dragged her out of bed and threw her down the stairs of the family home.

Det Garda Tom O'Sullivan confirmed he took a statement from Ms Kelleher on June 25 2014 as she recovered in hospital.

She said her spouse had been "cursing and blinding" at her about a call made to their home.

In the garda statement, she said: "I went to bed and covered my head. He pulled the blankets off me. I said 'sorry.' I put my hand up to my face to save my head. I didn't want bruises."

"He pulled me out of bed by the ponytail. There were clumps of hair. He threw me down the stairs and kicked me in the ass."

Kelleher vehemently denied ever striking his wife.

Sgt Marie Keating said she met Ms Kelleher by appointment in April 2015 and she expressed her wish to withdraw her earlier statement against her spouse.

Ms Kelleher told Sgt Keating that she had very little recollection of June 12 and said it was possible she fell while putting out the washing.

Ms Kelleher also told the garda that her husband was a "good father," "a good husband" and from a "respectable family".

During the trial, Ms Kelleher took to the witness stand but declined to answer questions from either the prosecution or the defence.

"I refuse to give any evidence, judge," she said.