A successful horse-trainer beaten by her elderly partner has told how she fled their home with her daughter and just €83 in her bank account.

Kelda Morgan, 45, spoke out after William Lapsley, 75, was earlier this week given a six-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting her.

Lapsley punched Ms Morgan in the face, kicked her in the head when she fell to the ground and then struck her with a brush at their house in St Johnston, Co Donegal.

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Jealous Lapsley had heard Kelda speaking on the phone to a man she had sold a horse to in France.

She had begun a relationship with the man but Lapsley found out and attacked her, leaving her with a black eye and other injuries.

Ms Morgan spoke out after the case saying she wanted to give other women hope that they can escape an abusive relationship no matter how difficult their circumstances may be. The mum-of-one, who later married the Frenchman, now lives in Co Meath where she said they lead a very happy and normal life.

Lapsley had the sentence suspended after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Morgan at the home and farmyard they shared at Altaskin, St Johnston.

William Lapsley at Letterkenny District Court.

Ms Morgan arrived in Ireland from her native England as a 20-year-old and began a relationship with Lapsley shortly afterwards which lasted for almost the next two decades.

At the start she admits Lapsley gave her an “immense sense of purpose, a promise of belonging and security” as they shared a farmhouse together while she trained “unbroken horses” to international level.

However, she revealed how Lapsley would often lose his temper and she often wanted to leave the relationship but couldn’t.

She said: “It was not the first time he lost his temper but I simply felt like I was trapped. It was too hard to leave as he knew how much horses and my security meant to me.

“Plus, the threats I could never live in Ireland if I left.”

Kelda Morgan, 45, spoke out after her former partner William Lapsley, 75, was earlier this week given a six month suspended jail sentence for brutally assaulting her

However, the final straw came on September 2, 2018 when Lapsley attacked Kelda in the yard of the house they shared outside the village of St Johnston.

She had told Lapsley her relationship with the Frenchman was over but in the afternoon he overheard them speaking on the phone and Lapsley exploded in a fit of rage.

The Frenchman overheard “screaming and shouting” on the phone and immediately called Letterkenny Garda Station saying he feared for Ms Morgan’s safety.

When Garda Simon Morrison arrived at the couple’s house, Lapsley was outside and admitted they had had an argument.

Gardai went to see Ms Morgan and she was suffering from a black eye after Lapsley’s attack.

Kelda said the assault, which happened in front of her young daughter, was the final straw. She said: “After he gave me the beating in front of our daughter, I was never going back.

“She must know his behaviour was completely unacceptable.

“My daughter and I escaped with a small bag of belongings and €83 in my bank account.

“I had been trapped by him for so long and I found it so difficult to set up a new life for myself and my daughter even to get money to get by.

“The social welfare department were very unsure of my situation but we managed to get by with the help of friends. I will be forever grateful to certain people, good people, who really helped us. I realise that without fantastic family and friends my escape would not have been possible and I simply can’t put a price on that.”

Kelda revealed the day she left was her daughter’s birthday but she didn’t even have enough money on her to buy her a card.

She said: “I didn’t have any money when I did leave. I remember putting €2.60 of diesel into the car to escape.”