Marks on ex-girlfriend’s face “didn’t look that bad”, accused told gardai

by Gazette Reporter

A man accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend told gardaí she had marks on her face when she arrived to his house which “did not look that bad”, a jury has heard.

Lloyd Saunders (32) with an address at Seven Oaks, Swords Road, Dublin 9, has pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm, false imprisonment and making a threat to kill or cause serious harm at Rathvilly Park, Finglas, on December 17, 2016.

Mr Saunders is accused of imprisoning his then girlfriend in his bedroom before subjecting her to an assault which included slapping and strangling that lasted “at least an hour and a half”.

Kelly Evans, the complainant, has rejected submissions by defence counsel that she told his client she had been in a fight with a woman earlier the same day and that she told him she intended to blame him for her injuries.

The court heard that this is the first criminal trial to take place in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court since March of this year.

On the second day of the trial, a transcript of a garda interview of Mr Saunders was read out before the jury. During the garda interview, Mr Saunders said that Ms Evans had marks on her face when she arrived at his house and that they “did not look that bad”.

Mr Saunders told gardaí that Ms Evans wanted to stay in his home on the date in question and that she started crying when he told her she could not. He said she told him she could not go home to her parents and he thought she was drunk.

Mr Saunders told gardaí she screamed as she was ushered down the stairs by him before telling him that he would be sorry and that she was going to blame the marks on him.

After listening to a recording of a 999 call made by Ms Evans, he told gardaí that it did not sound like a genuine call and he thought she was faking it.

In his closing speech to the jury, Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, said Ms Evans had given evidence of what he would describe as a “sustained, horrific and degrading assault”.

Mr McCormack noted that Mr Saunders told gardaí the injuries he claimed Ms Evans had when she arrived to his home “did not look that bad”.

He said that if Mr Saunders had said that when she arrived to his home her face “was beaten to a pulp” then that might hold some water, but Mr Saunders did not say anything like that and that “blows his explanation to gardaí out of the water”.

In his closing speech to the jury, Michael P O’Higgins SC, defending, said that bruising can occur subsequent to injuries and that there can be late onset of bruising.

Mr O’Higgins said it was “wholly unexplained” by the prosecution how Ms Evans’ car tyre was punctured.

He said this was important because his client had given an explanation that he had been told by Ms Evans the tyre was punctured by a woman who had assaulted her prior to her arriving at his address.

The trial continues today before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury of five women and seven men.

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