02 Oct 2022

Woman had to flee her own home after 'serious and sustained' assault

A Judge refused bail for man who attacked his aunt

Woman had to flee her own home after 'serious and sustained' assault

Bail has been refused for a Letterkenny man who left his aunt in hospital following a ‘serious and sustained assault’.

Matthew Gallagher (22), with an address at Leitir Ard, Letterkenny, was brought before Letterkenny District Court, charged with assault causing harm.

The court heard that the woman was hospitalised as a rest of the alleged incident and Gardai objected to bail.

Garda Cathal Feely outlined that Gardaí were objecting to bail due to the nature of the offence, which is alleged to have occurred at approximately 1pm on February 6, 2022.

Garda Feely told the court that it will be alleged that a verbal argument regarding Gallagher’s behaviour since he took up residence with his aunt in January, 2022.

It will be alleged, Garda Feely said, that he physically assaulted the woman by head butting and punching her face before placing his arm in the choking position, threatening to place her unconscious.

The woman sought refuge in her bedroom, Garda Feely said, before exiting the ground floor window and, with only socks on her feet, fleeing. The woman sought assistance at a nearby house and was later conveyed to Letterkenny University Hospital.

The full extent of her injuries will not be known until the swelling goes down.

Gallagher, the court heard, left the scene in a taxi and Gardaí were unable to locate him. Gardaí later made contact with Gallagher by telephone and he refused to present or attend a Garda Station.

On Sunday, February 7, 2022, Gallagher presented to to Letterkenny Garda Station and was detained.

Gardaí said they believed Gallagher would interfere with witnesses if he were released.

“It was a serious and sustained assault,” Garda Feely said. “It happened in her home house. Out of fear for the accused, she fled out a bedroom window.”

Solicitor for Gallagher, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said that ‘everything was localised inside the four walls of the house’ and there wasn’t any interaction between the two in public. Mr Gallagher proffered another address to the court.

Sergeant Jim Collins said he had ‘grave concerns’ about bail being granted. Judge Alan Mitchell refused bail due to the seriousness of the charge.

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