Thursday, July 21, 2022

Claire Henry

A man has been sentenced to two years in prison for a sustained assault on his ex-partner at her apartment in February 2021.

Daniel Haines (33) of Summerhill Parade, Dublin pleaded guilty in March 2022 to assault causing harm to his ex-partner Shauna Hunt.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Haines contacted Ms Hunt on February 3rd, 2021 and went to her apartment. He ended up staying for several days, looking after her and cooking.

On February 7th, 2021, Haines began drinking vodka. At approximately 8pm, he told Ms Hunt that he had another girlfriend and that he had to choose who he wanted to be with.

Ms Hunt told Haines that it was her who had a choice to make and asked him to leave her apartment.

They both sat silently, and then Haines asked Ms Hunt to sleep with him. She said no and he started to become aggressive.

Garda Michelle Hetherton told Antonia Boyle, BL, prosecuting, that Haines called Ms Hunt a “whore”, a “tramp”, and an “unwanted child”.

The next memory that Ms Hunt had is lying on the ground and being repeatedly kicked by Haines. She placed her arms around her head to protect herself and believes that Haines kicked between ten to fifteen times.

CCTV footage

The court heard Haines then pulled her by the hair off the ground. She told Haines that she would call the gardaí, and she tried to flee the apartment.

Haines followed her, and as she was making her way down the stairs, he tripped her, and she fell down the stairs.

CCTV footage obtained by gardaí was shown in court where Haines could be seen throwing Ms Hunt to the ground and smashing her mobile phone.

Ms Hunt then remembers waking up in the Mater hospital. Images of her injuries were handed into court, showing bruising, cuts and two back eyes.

Haines has 49 previous convictions, including convictions for public order offences, criminal damage, possession of a weapon, robbery, and bench warrants.

Ms Hunt was due to make a victim impact statement but passed away in mid-June of this year before she got an opportunity to do so.

Patrick McCarthy, BL, defending, said his client was shocked when he was shown the CCTV footage of the hallway attack and described people who hit women as “scumbags”.

Addiction services

He said his client had a difficult childhood and was taken into care at a young age.

The court heard that Haines found himself homeless after turning eighteen and has had difficulties with alcohol throughout his life. He works full-time as a kitchen porter and engages with addiction services.

The accused had written a letter of apology for Ms Hunt, but it was not given to her before her passing.

Judge Elma Sheahan said that the aggravating factors, in this case, was the assault that took place in Ms Hunt’s home, where she should have felt safe.

She said Haines carried out a sustained attack on a woman with whom he had been in an intimate relationship. She would also take his previous convictions into consideration.

Judge Sheahan outlined the mitigating factors as the accused early guilty plea, his remorse, his difficult childhood and that he is seeking residential treatment for his addictions.

Judge Sheahan sentenced Haines to two years and six months in prison but suspended the final six months.

In addition, Haines must engage and attend all appointments and referrals outlined by the probation services.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email [email protected]) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email [email protected]) for support and information. 

Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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