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Man who poured boiling sugared water over his pregnant girlfriend jailed for two and a half years

By Ralph Riegel

Published 07/06/2016

Tara Byrd told the trial that Michael Lynch said he would kill her and bury her body in the woods if she ever cheated on him
Tara Byrd told the trial that Michael Lynch said he would kill her and bury her body in the woods if she ever cheated on him

A man who poured boiling sugared water over his pregnant girlfriend in a fit of jealousy was jailed for two and a half years.

Michael Lynch (24) was jailed after he was convicted of assault causing harm to his girlfriend, Tara Byrd (25), who said the incident had left her living in total fear.

Ms Byrd, who was four and a half months pregnant when the incident occurred, also admitted that she fears she will never have the confidence to show her lower leg in public again through wearing skirts, dresses or shorts.

Such was the nature of the burn damage to her leg and the scar it left, doctors advised her not to expose her limb to sunlight.

Lynch was convicted by a Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury by 11-1 majority vote in a retrial after an earlier jury had been unable to agree a verdict.

Judge Dave Riordan described it as a very serious incident which had clearly left the victim very frightened.

Lynch had denied the assault which his pregnant girlfriend claimed occurred as she was watching an episode of the hit BBC soap opera, 'Eastenders' at their Old Youghal Road home in Cork.

He had also denied threatening to kill Ms Byrd who was four months pregnant at the time on July 21 2015.

Ms Byrd told the trial the defendant said he would kill her and bury her body in the woods if she ever cheated on him.

The court heard the couple had known each other since Ms Byrd was 19.

They began a relationship in March 2015.

They were only going out a short time when Ms Byrd became pregnant.

She told the trial Mr Lynch became very controlling of her movements and who she met.

On June 7, she said the defendant had warned her not to go to their local pub to meet friends.

The following month, they went camping outside the village of Crosshaven.

However, she said that Mr Lynch warned her not to look at a young man who happened to be in staying in the same area.

The defendant confronted his girlfriend three days later on July 21.

Ms Byrd said she was watching 'Eastenders' at their Cork home when the defendant challenged her.

"He said he was going to boil a kettle of water with sugar in it and pour the sugared water on me," she said.

"He put the sugar in the kettle and he boiled it."

"Then he said that if I screamed, he would hit me over the head with an iron bar."

"I was wearing pyjama pants at the time."

"He threw the kettle over my left leg and I was in agony."

"But I did not scream. I was shaking with the agony. He told me to take off my clothes. He put cold water on it. I couldn't handle it because the pain was unreal."

Ms Byrd said the pain was so bad she was pleading with her boyfriend to allow her to attend hospital.

But she said he put a white cotton T-shirt over her leg and kept putting cold water and ice over it.

She said she eventually attended a Cork hospital the following day and told staff the burn injuries were the result of a domestic accident.

Ms Byrd said she had not told what really happened because she was in fear of Mr Lynch.

She claimed he had also made threats against her friends and family.

The young woman had to spent 10 days in hospital with third degree burns to her lower leg and later had to receive a skin graft.

Lynch, a father of four, had insisted in a subsequent garda interview the incident was a simple accident.

He said brought his girlfriend for medical attention just 10 minutes after a half cup of boiling water had accidentally spilled on her at their home.

Lynch had insisted the boiling water had accidentally fallen on her because a kettle was on "a bit of a slope" by a kitchen counter-top.

The defendant opted not to give evidence during both trials.

The court heard that Lynch has a previous conviction for assault causing harm.

Irish Independent

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