A man accused by a judge of the elder abuse of his 83-year-old mother arising from his court cross-examination of her has given a sworn undertaking never to go near her home again.
At the Family Law Court, the man — described in court by his mother as once the ‘perfect son’ before their relationship turned ‘toxic’ — gave the undertaking after Judge Mary Larkin said that the man’s cross-examination of his mother amounts to elder abuse.
The man told Judge Larkin: “I can make this commitment to you and the court that I will never speak to my mother again and never approach the house.” The woman — who required assistance from her solicitor, Pamela Clancy to enter and exit the courtroom — was seeking a domestic violence Safety Order against her son.
The woman has right of residence in her son’s property, and in court the man was representing himself, but as he cross-examined his mother on her evidence, Judge Larkin intervened and asked the man: “Do you know what elder abuse is?” The man said that he did and Judge Larkin said: “I have to tell you now that your conduct here with your mother today amounts to elder abuse.”
She said: “This is an elderly lady. Her husband and your father died recently and you want to subject this woman who will be 84 on her next birthday to this cross-examination? To prove you are right and she is wrong? Is that what you propose to do?”
Judge Larkin said that the woman “has said you made threats of violence against her and that you frightened her?”. In response, the man said that he was “shocked” and “astounded” by the allegations of threatening violence towards his mother and completely denied them.
The man said that the evidence his mother has given is confusing because of her age. Under cross-examination, the mother agreed with her son that he had never once hit or struck her.
She said: “In fact you were the perfect son and that is why I am so surprised about what you have done lately.” The man admitted in court that his relations with his mother had turned toxic.
Judge Larkin said that she was concerned that this woman, who is an old lady and who has buried her husband in the recent past, is being asked questions by her son “instead of you saying ‘I will stay away from you Mom and the house and I will leave you to spend your last days in peace and not be arguing about property’”.
After the man continued with his cross-examination, Judge Larkin again intervened and said: “Do you hear what you are doing? You are having a property row with your elderly mother.”
“What do you want to achieve out of this? You cannot continue with t