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Justice Patrick McCarthy handed down the sentence today. PA Archive/PA Images

Pregnant woman 'truly believed' she would die after being beaten unconscious by husband

Muhammed Tajik was sentenced to three years in jail.

“A MARTIAL ARTS expert” who punched his pregnant wife unconscious and fractured her jaw, has been jailed for three years.

Muhammed Tajik (28) pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Susan Walmsley at a flat on Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin on 8 December, 2015.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy today said Walmsley was “an innocent victim in the fullest sense” and “had fallen into the hands of a man of a very violent disposition”.

He described the case as “a particularly serious example of domestic violence, perpetrated by the victim’s husband, someone from whom she was entitled to expect a high degree of respect.”

The court heard that on the day of the assault, Walmsley, who met her estranged husband online, had started a new job, and this led to a dispute between the couple.

At a previous hearing Garda John Freeney told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, that the defendant “grabbed Ms Walmsley’s neck from behind, punching her in the head and face until she passed out.”

The court heard when the victim regained consciousness, Tajik, an Afghani national, told her they had had an argument and she needed to go to hospital.

He drove her to A&E where she was treated for a fractured jaw, an injured eye socket, a wound over her left eye and a swollen neck.

Gillane read out a text sent by the defendant to Walmsley on the night of the assault in which he expressed his remorse.

“Go baby, go far from me where you’re safe,” Tajik wrote. He sent lilies to his wife in hospital with a handwritten note the day after the assault the court heard.

Patrick Gageby SC, defending, said Tajik is in a new relationship and is expecting a baby with his current partner.

He said the defendant, who is of no fixed address, has no previous convictions and should be given credit for pleading guilty, for his apologies and his remorse.

Gageby said Tajik applied for asylum in Ireland in September 2015, and has been unable to work since then.

In a victim impact statement Walmsley, a mother of two, told the court she only feels safe when alone and finds it impossible to trust others.

“He was so calm when he was punching me, I truly believed I would die that night.

As he is a martial arts expert he knew what techniques to use to do the most damage to me. I received the injuries because I wanted to leave, I had enough.


Walmsley said the pain she experienced was worse than childbirth, and rendered her unable to wash her teeth or lie on a pillow for weeks afterwards.

She said she has felt suicidal since the assault and has suffered flashbacks, high levels of anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.

“I find it hard to leave my house, I have to check all entry points. I rarely feel safe at home and have an alarm on my bedroom door,” she said.

She told the court that her nine-year-old daughter is petrified, and needs to know where her mother is every hour of the day.

Walmsley said that as a result of the assault she cannot return to her job, as she suffers regular panic attacks and cannot concentrate.

Sentencing Tajik, MJustice McCarthy referred to the “the extent of brutality” used in the course of the assault.

He said the fact the couple had argued about the victim’s new job and a burnt pizza demonstrated the offence was in no sense explicable in terms of provocation.

He said he would not be taking into account the fact that the defendant is expecting a child with his new partner, as he must meet responsibility for what occurred even if this amounts to disrupting others in his life.

Justice McCarthy referred to testimonials provided to the court by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, and said he was satisfied that Tajik had shown a “degree of contrition.”

However he noted that Tajik did not admit his guilt until his third interview with gardaí.

He sentenced him to three years in jail and said that the crime merited a heavy custodial sentence.


Speaking outside court, Walmsley (38) said she was very surprised at the length of the sentence imposed on Tajik as it was a lot more than she was expecting.

She said she found the trial extremely difficult.

“Everywhere I go there’s a memory of what happened, a smell that brings it all back to me,” she said.

Walmsley urged other victims of domestic physical and psychological abuse to seek help.

“When someone is controlling and manipulating you they cut you off from everybody. It’s so difficult to get away but you don’t have to put up with it.

It never gets better, they promise they’ll be good but two weeks later it’s ten times worse. The pattern will continue until it comes to the point that you think they’re going to kill you.

Walmsley said it was validating to hear Justice McCarthy describe the assault as unprovoked.

“My ex posted vile things online about me after he attacked me. He said I deserved it and that I had ruined his life,” she said.

Read: Man brings High Court challenge against Irish State over border poll >

Read: Sister of assault victim who died still sets his dinner place at Christmas, court hears >

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Sarah Jane Murphy
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