A jilted husband who kidnapped his wife before beating her and forcing her to watch as he tried to cut off his own head has been jailed. Darren O’Callaghan tried to decapitate himself in front of his partner as “punishment” for the breakdown of their marriage, a court heard.
Darren O’Callaghan, 51, bundled his partner into the back of a car and drove her into the countryside after their 12-year relationship ended.
He threatened to stab her to death if she tried to escape, before viciously battering her during the incident on July 30 last year. He then forced her to watch as he attempted to decapitate himself with a knife as “punishment” for the breakdown of their marriage.
The court was told the “hideous and grizzly” attempt in Shropshire left O’Callaghan seriously injured and he no longer has a swallow reflex.
Yesterday, the defendant was handed an extended sentence of nine years and three months at Shrewsbury Crown Court, in the UK
He had been earlier being convicted for kidnapping, threats to kill and being in possession of a bladed article or offensive weapon.
He pled guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
At sentencing for O’Callaghan, the judge said: “On June 11 last year you had an argument with your wife.
“You thought she had been unfaithful. She was viciously beaten by you.
“You have a disability from a previous motorcycle accident. You have an amputation to your leg and your right arm is injured.
“Bearing this in mind, it is clear to me you must have struck her with force and fury to cause those injuries.”
He continued: “What happened on July 30 was in a different league from the incident in June.
“You planned to get your wife in the car, hold her captive with threats and cable ties then commit suicide.
“You hoped that would be a quick end for you but also hideous and grizzly for your wife.
“The effect this would have had on your wife must have been planned and intended.
as a reult of what prosecutors described as a “hideous and grizzly” attempt at suicide
“I accept you were so desperate you wanted to kill yourself but you wanted your wife there to punish her.”It appears to me you do not recognise fully the effect this has had on your
wife. You appear to portray yourself as some sort of victim.”
The incident happened while O’Callaghan was on bail for assaulting his wife in June last year, in which she was left bruised following an argument. At the time, he was banned from having contact with her.
He had stripped out the seats from his people carrier to carry out the abduction, it was said.
He also had duct tape and cable ties in the vehicle.
The husband brutally battered his victim before trying to cut off his own head, the court was told.
The prosecutor, Adam Western, read the victim impact statement from O’Callaghan’s wife that said she required medical help and still feels vulnerable after the attack.
She said: “I am still affected mentally.
“I was prescribed antidepressants. My anxiety levels were so bad I could not cope. I am still taking them to this day.
“The medication helps but it does not remove the feelings of anxiety.
“I hope one day I will be able to stop taking them.
“I do still have the odd panic attack. I do still find myself looking over my shoulder lots and I do still feel anxious when I am in my taxi alone.
“On the odd occasion I do go out I have to make sure I am in a large group. It would not be possible to go out on my own because of what he did to me.
“As a direct result, I was forced to move house because I was so worried about him coming after me.
“I still worry about how it will affect me when he gets out of prison.”
Brendan Reedy, defending, said O’Callaghan was not mentally stable at the time of the kidnap.
O’Callaghan was jailed for a total of six years and three months, of which he must serve at least 50 months before being eligible for parole.
Upon his release, he will then have an extended three-year licence period.