*Photograph: John Mangan

A MAN charged with the false imprisonment of a woman at his Co Clare home last November has now been charged with the sexual assault of the woman.

At Ennis District Court, Gardaí brought three additional charges against the 37 year old man.

Along with the false imprisonment charge of the woman, the man is now charged with the sexual assault of the woman, threatening to kill her and producing a kitchen knife at his home on November 9th last.

In response to charge and caution by Det Garda Donal Corkery, the man made no reply.

The man has been remanded in custody since last November after failing to secure bail after Garda objections.

At the bail hearing at Kilrush District Court, the court heard that the woman was allegedly held against her will for four hours by the accused and was forced to listen to the man inform her ex-partner over the phone that she had an affair with another man towards the end of their relationship.

Det Corkery said that the woman was put through a four hour ordeal on November 9th where she was threatened with a knife by the man who also told her that he had a shotgun in his car and a Glock hand-gun on the fridge.

In the case, the man was initially charged with the false imprisonment of the woman at his Co Clare home on November 9th contrary to Section 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. The man denies the charge.

Opposing a bail application for the man, Det Garda Corkery said that the woman felt pressured to go to this man’s house on November 9th as he was threatening that he would ring her ex partner and tell him that she had an affair towards the end of their relationship if she didn’t come to the home.

Det Corkery said that the woman has a good relationship with her ex-partner and they have children together.

Det Corkery said that the woman felt that she had no option but to go and on arrival the man searched her and took her phone from her and started questioning her in an aggressive manner and threatening tone.

Det Corkery said that the woman sat on a chair in the house for the majority of the time and due to the aggressive nature and tone of the man “she was in constant fear of her own safety and frozen to the chair”.

Det Corkery said that the man was consuming vodka and cocaine and had told another person that he had used €700 to €800 worth of cocaine in the days leading up to the incident. Det Corkery said that during the incident the man ran at the woman with a kitchen knife and grabbed her by the throat.

The woman and the man had been in a relationship and in the days prior to the alleged false imprisonment, Det Corkery said that the man had been following her, messaging her to meet up to discuss their relationship.

Det Corkery said at 9pm on the night, the accused phoned the woman’s ex-partner and put the mobile phone on speaker and threatened the woman not to say anything during the call.

Det Corkery said that the accused then disclosed to the woman’s ex-partner that he was in a relationship with the alleged injured party and that she had an affair during the relationship with her ex-partner.

The detective said that the call lasted 15 minutes and during the conversation, the woman’s ex-partner wished his ex happiness and all he wanted was good for her and if they were happy he would not stand in their way.

Det Corkery said that the man’s aggressive behaviour de-escalated after this “and he obviously believed that he was given approval to be in a relationship with the alleged injured party”.

The detective said that the alleged injured party got her phone back and after several failed attempts finally managed to get in touch with a friend at 10.55pm and at 11.15pm her friend collected her.

Det Corkery said that at interview with Gardai, the man accepted that the woman did attend his home on the night but denied that he falsely imprisoned her.

At Ennis District Court, Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that the case against the accused is to go forward to the circuit court on indictment.

Judge Mary Larkin further remanded the accused in custody to appear before Ennis District Court on February 15th.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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