The former mistress of a controversial Ulster developer who admitted assaulting her in a terrifying ordeal has revealed how she had been put " through hell".
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Kate McAleese said that Norman Menary's dramatic change of plea at Antrim Crown Court signalled the end of her two-year trauma.
Menary, head of NM Developments, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and a further count of false imprisonment relating to an attack he carried out on Kate McAleese on November 4, 2005.
He had originally pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but was re-arraigned on Wednesday and was ordered to pay a total of £2,500 in compensation.
Three further charges, two of assault and one of making a threat to kill, remained on the books not to be proceeded with after Menary pleaded not guilty to them.
The development came one month after Menary, of Broagh Road, Castledawson, denied threatening to drown his former girlfriend during a jealous rage.
The 52-year-old property developer's admission of guilt signalled the end of a two-year battle for justice by Ms McAleese.
The child nursery boss yesterday spoke to the Belfast Telegraph and described her relief that the court case had finally concluded.
"I'm so glad that this is all over," she said.
"My family and myself have been through hell over the past two years.
"It has been a very stressful time.
"It is a chapter in my life that I can now finally put behind me and hopefully I can move on with my life.
"Justice has been done and I now have closure.
"I am relieved that it ended the way it did and that I now have the freedom and clarity to live my own life."
During a preliminary hearing at Antrim Crown Court, Ms McAleese described the night that she believed Menary was going to kill her after he accused her of lying about her whereabouts earlier that day.
She told the court that Menary bombarded her with phone calls and text messages demanding to know who she was with during their relationship.
After she cancelled a meeting with him due to work commitments, Ms McAleese said she arrived at her sister's house to find Menary in a rage.
She said she left the house after Menary repeatedly called her a "lying b......" in front of her six-year-old nephew, but as she left Menary followed her, grabbed her by the hair and forced her into his jeep before driving them to a secluded spot near the River Bann.
Ms McAleese said that Menary threatened to "put her under" unless she told him where she had been during the day.