Friday, May 19, 2023

Eimear Dodd

A Dublin man who carried out an “appalling” assault on his former partner, which was witnessed by their children, will be sentenced later this year.

The 39-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and burglary on January 4th, 2020 at an address in Co Dublin.

A local garda told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Friday that they responded to a call to attend the injured party’s home at 11.30am on the day in question.

The injured party told gardaí that her former partner had been shouting and throwing cans of beer, but she did not want to make a formal complaint.

Gardaí returned to the property later that day following another call.

The complainant told them the defendant had come into her bedroom and hit her numerous times. Gardaí observed that she had bruising to her face and appeared to have bite marks on her hand.

The woman told gardaí that she was out with friends on January 3rd, 2020, and found her ex-partner sitting on the sofa when she returned home. She asked him to leave, but he started talking to one of the friends who had returned to the house with her.

The woman said the defendant left her home in the early morning but returned later, pushing past her into the sitting room. Their three children were upstairs at this time.

The man became angry and started shouting, then left when he was told the gardaí would be called.

The court heard that the complainant went upstairs to her bedroom to sleep. She received several calls via Facebook Messenger from the defendant, who wanted to collect clothes. She told him she didn’t want him to come.

The man later returned to the house and entered the woman’s bedroom. She pretended to be asleep. The man asked her about the car, then said he would burn it and punched her approximately 20 times.

She screamed for help, and her children came into the room and asked their father to stop. One of the children got into the bed and hugged the woman.

The man then lifted the child off the woman and moved them to the bottom of the bed before hitting the woman several more times. She also felt him biting her hand while lying on top of her.

The victim’s mother said the defendant later rang her and said the complainant “deserved” it.

The court heard that the man’s Safe Pass was spotted by the gardaí in the hall of the house.

He was arrested and, when interviewed, accepted that he was the former partner of the complainant and that he had taken her phone.

He denied the assault and told gardaí one of the children had called him as their mother was not at home.

The woman was taken to hospital. Photos of her injuries were handed to the court along with a victim impact statement which was not read aloud.

The man has 24 previous convictions, including public road, road traffic and possession of drugs offences.

The investigating garda agreed with Geraldine Small SC, defending, that her client had consumed a considerable amount of intoxicants on the day in question.

He also agreed that the defendant’s previous convictions are all at the District Court and are indicative of someone with addiction issues.

Ms Small said her client wished to express his “absolute remorse” for his “outrageous behaviour” towards his ex-partner. She said “absolutely appalling violence” was carried out by the man upon his ex-partner in the presence of their children, which he accepts is an aggravating feature.

Counsel said the man’s “chronic addiction” fed into his offending behaviour, and this incident had been a “wake-up call” for him.

He spent six months in custody and weaned himself off drugs. She said her client is working full-time and attempting to build bridges with his children.

She said the man was willing to engage with the Probation Service.

A number of testimonials were handed into the court on behalf of the man. Judge Patricia Ryan said some of these were not suitable as they were not signed and dated.

Adjourning the case to July 14th for finalisation, Judge Ryan ordered a probation report and directed the defence counsel to review these references.

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