Man ‘very good at apologies’ threatened to kill woman

By Fiona Ferguson

A man who held a woman he was dating against her will and threatened to kill her when she tried to leave has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

 Paul Kelly (34) told the victim: “If you leave I will kill you” after she managed to get out of the house. Before she left the area that night, he told her he would come to her house and stab her.

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Dublin Circuit Court

 During their relationship, he sent the victim a video of a woman’s head being cut off, Dublin Circuit Court heard on Monday.

 The court heard Kelly was arrested several days later outside her home when the 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 said it did not suit Kelly to allow the victim to leave and he threatened her with a knife.

 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.

 The judge said “an acquaintance” of Kelly’s had behaved honourably and informed gardai about further threats.

 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. She said he sent her a video of a woman’s head being cut off.

 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”.

 “I only worry about the other innocent people he may come into contact with,” she said.

 Judge Nolan said Kelly lived a “lonely and desolate life” but had behaved in a violent and reprehensible fashion on the night.

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

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