THE wife of a man jailed last week for pulling a computer cable around her neck while she begged for her life has been left "financially destitute" by her estranged husband who, she said, manipulated the court by feigning remorse.
Suzanne Keegan also told the Sunday Tribune that despite her husband's violent crime, she would have preferred for the sake of their four children he had not been jailed.
David Keegan (45) of Corbally Park, Westbrook Glen, Tallaght, was jailed for three and a half years last Monday after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to his wife at his then home in Clondalkin on 8 October 2007.
Judge Frank O'Donnell suspended the last year of the sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on strict conditions.
Suzanne Keegan this weekend strongly criticised the court system. While her husband expressed remorse for the attack in letters to the court and said he wanted to work to support his children, he has refused to sign a legal document that would help secure his children's family home.
He has also not paid his estranged wife any maintenance support since he attacked her in 2007. "He has left me financially destitute. The house has been awarded to me. But there is a legal document that he needs to sign in order to make my life, and more importantly his children's life, easier in terms of changing the mortgage repayments. I have lost my job. He has refused so far to sign this. He has said he's sorry but then why won't he sign this document to help us keep our house? That shows that he is not sorry. I could not say any of this in court while he was allowed have character references. I do not think the system is fair."
She met her husband, an IT worker, in 1996 through an ad in the Evening Herald. By the time of the attack, they had four children but were living apart. Suzanne had taken a barring order out against him. The 45 year old was trying to resume the relationship on the evening he attacked her and asked her to meet him at his rented house at Monksfield Estate. He had been given €50,000 in redundancy money from his previous employer, O2, and offered his wife €5,000 towards the care of their four children and mortgage on the family home in Tallaght.
After he gave her the money, he asked her if they could get back together. When she refused, he placed a printer cable around her neck and started to choke her. She finally managed to free herself after a struggle and fled the house. She later received hospital treatment for her injuries.
After going to gardaí, her husband admitted to attacking his wife. Despite pleading guilty, it took over two and a half years before the case concluded last month.
"My husband is a monster for what he did. But it is not fair on him either to have to wait this long for the courts to deal with this, considering he pleaded guilty. The last time he gave me money to support his children was the €5,000 the day he attacked me. He was free to leave Ireland and lived in Dubai while the case went slowly through the courts. He squandered his €50,000 redundancy money over there as well as paying for flights back and forth to attend the 13 court hearings," she added.
Suzanne Keegan said she was not afraid to ever see her husband again, and hopes their children maintain a relationship with him. "Initially, I was terrified of him but I am no longer afraid to see him. But I will never, ever be on my own with him again. I do not think domestic violence can be hidden behind closed doors. He was not physically violent in the past but was emotionally abusive to me and my children. I would like to praise the HSE for all their help," she said.
"I wasn't happy to see him get a custodial sentence. I would have preferred not to see him go to prison because of the kids. It's not going to change him."