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Man with 56 convictions sentenced to four years in prison, two suspended, for dragging woman from car

He was found guilty of assault causing harm and engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour.

Stock court image
Stock court image
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A FEMALE MOTORIST who was dragged from her car and beaten in a savage unprovoked attack by a man with 26 previous convictions against women has criticised the sentence handed down to him.

Anthony Quigley (45) of Roches Heights in Mitchelstown, Co Cork was earlier this year convicted of an attack on the 5th of February 2018, during which motorist Amanda Donegan feared for her life.

He received a four-year sentence with the last two years suspended.

Quigley will effectively be jailed for just two years for the attack after Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that he sustained a brain injury in a crash 19 years ago, which has left him cognitively impaired and prone to impulsivity.

Speaking after the sentencing, the victim in the case admitted that she was devastated by what she perceived as the leniency of the sentence.

Having a head injury does not give him the right to give other people head injuries. I actually think that man is evil.

“Even sitting there today made me want to be sick,” she said. 

“I feel danger all around me. I used to be a strong capable person. Sometimes I can’t even go out of a house. Walking down the street frightens me. There is not enough done for people like him (with brain injuries) or people like me.”

Donegan said she thought she was going to die during the attack.

“If I hadn’t moved my head when I did, he would have got me in the temple and killed me. He started hitting through the car window because I was reversing. It was a fight for my life.”

She previously told the court that she was parking her car on Lower Cork Street, in Mitchelstown, on the afternoon 5 February 2018 when he approached her and started shouting swear words at her in the window.

Quigley lunged forward and assaulted her through the car window. She heard a “weird noise” and blood shot forward from her face.

She told the court that she couldn’t believe what had happened to her and that there was no lead up to the incident.

“He knocked me over on to my dog [on the seat next to her]. I was trying to hold the dog back. Even if he had been stabbing the dog, if the dog bit him, he would have been put down.

He was in the car on top of me and he was beating me and dragging me. He was smothering me. He said he would fucking kill me. I thought he was going to break my neck.

She said he put his hand over her mouth and she bit him trying to get him off her. She also got a spanner from the car in a bid to defend herself.

Quigley was found guilty of assault causing harm to Ms Donegan and engaging in threatening and abusive behavior towards her.

In his memorandum of interview with gardaí, he said that Ms Donegan had shouted at him calling him a “paedophile” and a “c**t”. He claimed that she sustained injuries to her face when she fell outside the vehicle and hit her head off a flowerpot. The garda evidence was that no such flowerpot existed.

Onlookers indicated to the court that the assault was unprovoked. A teenager, who gave evidence by video link, said that he thought Ms Donegan was going to be killed in the incident.

In an interview with gardaí, Quigley said that Ms Donegan was “squealing like a pig” during the incident. He claimed that she had called him a “paedophile” and that he was “intimidated” by her.

In the course of the sentencing hearing, Judge Gerard O’Brien was told that Quigley had 56 previous convictions, 26 of which were against women.

Garda Denise Fitzgerald said that one of the convictions involved a sexual assault on a 12-year-old female. Quigley also has convictions for attacks on both women and men, for harassment, and for making hoax telephone calls and messages of an explicit nature.

He also has a conviction for assaulting a mother and daughter in Mitchelstown.

Barrister Niamh O’Donnabhain said that her client incurred brain damage in a car crash 19 years ago. He was in a coma for 27 days and has been cared for by his elderly parents since the incident.

The judge described Quigley as being a “menace” to society. He said Quigley was not entitled to revisit his trauma on innocent bystanders.

He commended Ms Donegan for her eloquence in her victim impact statement which was furnished to the courts.

Emphasising that the accused was “not getting off” he jailed Quigley to four years in custody with the last two years suspended.

Meanwhile, Mr Quigley was also sentenced to a further three years with the last 18 months suspended in a separate case today.

Harassment

He was found guilty earlier this year of harassing four teenage girls on a bus telling them racist and sexist jokes before sexually assaulting one of them.

He had pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault, to four charges of harassment, a single charge of assault, and one of threatening and abusive behaviour on 4 December 2018.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that the teenagers were at the back of a bus on when he sat next to them. The trial heard from the girls via video link.

One of the young women said that Quigley touched her inappropriately after she started coughing. He placed his hands on her shoulder before reaching for her thighs.

Quigley said he only engaged in banter with the teenagers and refuted suggestions that there was inappropriate contact. He insisted that inappropriate touching wasn’t his style.

A jury of four women and eight men found Quigley guilty on all seven counts on the indictment.

In sentencing Judge Brian O’Callaghan commended the young women for their mature response to the unacceptable behaviour inflicted on them.

He said Mr Quigley’s brain injury explained but did not excuse his behaviour.

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About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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