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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020
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Fair City star avoids jail sentence for punching and biting ex-partner

Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick, who played Zumo Bishop on Fair City, pleaded guilty to the assault.

Image: Chodyra Mike via Shutterstock

A FAIR CITY star who punched and bit his former partner has been spared a jail sentence.

Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick (33) who played Zumo Bishop for six years in the RTÉ television soap, appeared at Dublin District Court today for sentencing. He received a 12-month probation bond for the attack.

He pleaded guilty earlier to assault causing harm to Theresa Gannon at his home at Hollytree Terrace, Ballymun, on 4 September 2015. The charge was under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. The offence, at district court level, can carry a sentence of up to one year.

Judge John Lindsay noted Fitzpatrick had complied with his order, made at an earlier stage, to pay €2,000 to his former partner. He was also furnished with an updated probation report on the accused as well as a reference from an employer.

Probation report

Defence counsel Simon Donagh asked the judge to note his client had engaged positively with the Move organisation which helps address domestic violence. He said Fitzpatrick was going to AA, however, the judge pointed out the probation report stated he had not been attending.

Donagh explained there had been a gap but Fitzpatrick was now going again, three times a week.

Judge Lindsay remarked that a good probation report on Fitzpatrick had been furnished to the court and told him, “Well done”, adding that was imposing a 12-month probation bond.

He said Fitzpatrick must continue attending and complete a 26-week course at Move. Fitzpatrick told the judge he was already in the third module of the course.

He said “I am, yes” when asked to confirm he had gone back to AA. He also explained he has been attending addiction counselling.

Asked how long he expected that to last, he told the court, “There’s no time date on it”.

Finalising the case, Judge Lindsay said he must continue attending these services as a condition of his probation bond.

Injuries caused 

At an earlier hearing, Garda Niall Carolan had told Judge Lindsay that Fitzpatrick bit the woman’s upper arm but did not break the skin. He has also said the actor then punched her twice on the side of her jaw.

Photos of her injuries were shown to the court.

She suffered bruising and a medical report on her was furnished to the court.

Garda Carolan has told the court the victim “has made a full recovery”.

In February last year, Judge Lindsay had suggested the sum of €2,000 should be paid to Ms Gannon. The defence had asked for the actor to be given time to come up with all the money which was fully paid in instalments.

Fitzpatrick played Fair City gangster Zumo Bishop for six years, from 2007-2013 and briefly reprised the role last year.

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Tom Tuite

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