Court hears man threatened former partner on day he came out of prison

by Gazette Reporter

A man who was jailed for twice attacking his former partner threatened her over the phone on the day he was released from prison, a court has heard.

John Paul Gantley (35), of The Coombe, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm on May 20 and 24, 2017.

Judge Cormac Quinn sentenced Gantley on July 31 last to three years’ imprisonment, with the final 12 months suspended for a period of two years, during which he was ordered not to make any contact with the victim.

Garda Sergeant Deirdre Connolly told Eoin Lawlor BL, prosecuting, that Gantley was released from custody on November 26 last and on the date of his release, his former partner received texts from him asking to see his daughter.

Gantley called her and said that if he did not see his daughter, he was “going to cause murder” and began to shout aggressively.

He was later stopped at her place of work by security staff who he threatened while intoxicated.

On February 19 last, he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for breaking a protection order.

Gantley told Karl Monaghan BL, defending, that he denied sending texts and making phone calls to his former partner in November.

Gantley told the court that he “can’t use a phone, a smartphone, the internet”. At a previous sentence hearing, the court heard that on May 20, 2017 Gantley texted his former partner and said he wanted to see her.

She refused and he arrived at her house that evening. Their daughter saw Gantley pin her mother against the wall while holding her by the throat and hitting her in the face.

Gantley took a knife from the kitchen and waved it around in the air, resulting in his former partner being cut on her forearm.

A few days later, Gantley again went to his former partner’s house and followed her out onto the street.

He hit her in the face with his hand while holding a sharp object, which also cut her face.

The woman said in her victim impact statement that she was “always on the edge of fear of John Paul” and that she was “fearful of the day he is released”.

Defence counsel said that Gantley had said “he would leave her alone for the rest of her life”.

Judge Quinn elected not to reactivate the suspended portion of the sentence.

He said that the final 12 months of the sentence would be suspended for a further two years and ordered that Gantley not make contact with the injured party for that period.

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