Former Middleham resident given suspended sentence for assault and controlling behaviour

A former Middleham resident has been handed a suspended prison sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and controlling and coercive behaviour against a woman.

John Barry Finbar Keniry – who was known as Barry – was found guilty in his absence following a trial at York Magistrates’ Court on June 14, last year.

The assault occasioning actual bodily harm occurred at an address in North Road, Middleham, on April 11, 2020.

The victim said Keniry had grasped her around the throat which cause reddening to her skin.

She also had an injury to her nose.

The 43-year-old, now living in Killeagh, County Cork, Ireland, absconded from the country having been arrested the same day and released on conditional bail.

The controlling and coercive behaviour occurred at the same address from July 1, 2016.

This involved Keniry repeatedly using emotional abuse and controlling the victim’s work and social life which had a serious effect on her.

As well as the suspended prison sentence, he was also made subject of an indefinite restraining order at the hearing held by arrangement at Bolton Crown Court on Friday.

This includes:

  • Not contacting the victim by any means, including electronic communication and social media, unless it is through a solicitor
  • Not going within 100 metres of any property Keniry knows her to be resident at

Police Constable Alex Saggers, who led the investigation, said: “Keniry has finally been sentenced following a protracted investigation which was frustrated by him breaching bail conditions and absconding from the country, during which time he was found guilty in his absence.

“If he fails to abide by the restraining order and commits further offences in the next two years, Keniry will have to serve the 20-month custodial sentence that has been suspended.”

PC Saggers added: “This has been a greatly difficult and upsetting time for the victim, and I hope she can now begin to rebuild her life.

“No-one should have to put up with such toxic and destructive behaviour in relationships.

“Help and support is readily available to victims of domestic abuse and controlling and coercive behaviour. Please don’t suffer in silence.”

Making reports and seeking help and support

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please report it via the North Yorkshire Police website where there is also a range of advice for victims.

You can also make a report and seek support or advice on the non-emergency number 101.

If you are in immediate danger and require emergency assistance, always dial 999.

Local support

IDAS – Independent Domestic Abuse Service

Go to or call the helpline 03000 110 110

Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire – – 01609 643100.