Man jailed for threat to kill ‘girlfriend’

By Fiona Ferguson

A MAN who sent a woman he was dating a video of a woman’s head being cut off and then threatened to kill her has been jailed for three and a half years.

Paul Kelly, 34, held the victim against her will and told her “If you leave I will kill you” after she managed to escape from the house.

He followed her to the bus stop armed with a large kitchen knife and told her he would come to her house and stab her, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Kelly was arrested several days later outside her home when a second woman he had been dating alerted gardai to a text exchange with Kelly in which he said he was going to kill the victim and himself. He also texted: “I won’t hurt her today.”

Kelly pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and two counts of making a threat to kill or cause serious harm at his home in Liscarne Gardens, Clondalkin on July 6, 2019.

Kelly, who has 16 prior convictions, previously received a seven year sentence, with the final three-and-a-half years suspended, for a threat to kill and possession of a knife.

Judge Martin Nolan said there had been considerable drink taken by Kelly and in the early hours of the morning “it seems difficulties arose”.

He noted that Kelly’s mother had intervened to no avail and Kelly followed the victim to a bus stop where he threatened her again.

He said the offences were quite serious and committed against a person who was vulnerable at the time. He noted Kelly had similar convictions for similar offences.

In a victim impact statement read out in court by a garda, the victim said: “I had immense fear planted in my heart” as a result of Kelly’s actions that night.

She said she was often shocked by things he said and did to her, but that he would later laugh them off. “He was very good at apologies,” she said.

The woman said she was traumatised by what Kelly did to her and struggled to complete her Masters degree. She has since returned to her native Uganda.

Despite Kelly’s treatment of her, she said she had “no hard feelings” adding: “I only worry about the other innocent people he may come into contact with.”

Judge Nolan imposed a sentence of three and a half years, backdated to last July when Kelly went into custody.

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