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Man who assaulted wife, hitting her twice across the head, gets suspended sentence

The man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to the woman.

Image: Shutterstock/Sebastian Duda

A MAN WHO hit his wife twice across the head after dragging her upstairs and removing her jeans by force, has walked free from court after being given a fully suspended sentence.

The man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to the woman, at their home, on 3 July 2017.

In sentencing him to two years fully suspended, Judge Patricia Ryan said the incident took place shortly after a marriage break up when “feelings were running high”.

Garda Tracey McDowell told the court that the couple’s marriage had ended some months prior to the attack but they continued to reside together.

The woman had obtained a protection order against her husband in the weeks leading up to the assault, the court heard.

Garda McDowell told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that on the day of the assault the man offered to pay the woman for sex and was upset when she declined. He then grabbed her from behind in the garden, pulled her into the house and dragged her upstairs, the court heard.

Garda McDowell said the man took her into the bedroom they used to share and hit her twice across the head before removing her jeans by force.

The woman was screaming and crying and repeatedly asked him to stop, the court heard.

“She grabbed a plastic bottle and hit him on the head; she was physically trying to fight him off,” Garda McDowell said.

The defendant then took off the woman’s clothes and got on top of her, leaving her struggling to breathe. He stopped when he realised how scared she was and apologised to her, Garda McDowell said.

Victim impact statement 

The witness agreed with counsel that the man had taken the break up badly and was jealous of his wife’s new relationship.

McCormack referred to the woman’s victim impact statement and said she suffered depression and cried every day for months after the attack.

Cathleen Noctor SC, defending, said her client was remorseful and wanted her to apologise to the victim on his behalf. She said he was a good father who had a meaningful relationship with the couple’s 18-year-old daughter and has no previous convictions.

Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced him to two years imprisonment, fully suspended for a period of two years. 

The judge gave him credit for his guilty plea, his co-operation with gardaí, his excellent employment record and his expressions of remorse. She said it was a serious incident that was violent in nature and had a physical and psychological effect on his victim.

Judge Ryan said she would not ask him to engage with Probation Services as such appointments could jeopardise his employment. 

“I’m not asking him to stay away from her as they have a child who’s still in school,” she said.

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Sarah Jane Murphy

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