A man who was acquitted of raping his partner but admitted assaulting her told his son: 'Mammy fell on daddy's fist many times', a court has heard. The man made the comments to his son after the then 10-year-old boy asked what had happened to cause his mother's facial injuries. The Garda investigating the case told the Central Criminal Court it was 'the most chilling thing' he had ever heard.
The 38-year-old man, who can't be named to protect the identity of his partner and son, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to her at their home address in Co Leitrim on July 5, 2020. He was also charged with two counts of raping the woman, which he denied. He stood trial in the Central Criminal Court and was acquitted of rape.
Sentencing the man for the assault charge today, Ms Justice Karen O'Connor said this was the violation of a woman in her home, who was beaten when 'she should have been secure and safe.' Other aggravating factors included the fact there was a child in the house at the time - although the judge noted there was no suggestion the child was present at the time of the assault - and the comments made by the father to his son the following morning.
Ms Justice O'Connor handed down a jail term of three years and backdated it to when the man went into custody in July 2020. Gardaí were on patrol in Co Leitrim in July 2020 when they were flagged down by two men who told them their female friend was unable to leave her house after she had been beaten by her partner the previous week. She had messaged them photographs of her injuries. A Garda patrol went to the house immediately, where the woman was found in a bedroom with her son. She had been seriously assaulted. Her partner, who was in another bedroom, was arrested. He has been in custody ever since.
The woman was taken to hospital and treated for a number of injuries, including a fractured nose, a head injury, bruising and swelling to her face and head and abrasions and bruising to her limbs. In a statement to gardaí, she said she had come home from a night out when the man flew into a rage and started beating her. She said he repeatedly choked her and she was unsure if she lost consciousness during the assault.
'He strangled me. I thought he would break my neck,' she told Gardaí. She said she was in considerable pain after the assault, particularly her neck, and was unable to smell or taste anything for some period afterwards. When her son saw her injuries, he asked his father what had happened, which was when he replied: 'Mammy fell on daddy's fists many times', the court heard.
The man has 29 previous convictions across the UK and Ireland, including battery, assault, obstruction of a peace officer and public order offences. He is originally from Latvia and lived in the UK before coming to Ireland, where he worked as a gardener. The court heard he was jealous that his partner, from whom he was estranged, had started a new relationship.
The woman declined to make a victim impact statement. Mr McGrath said his client immediately admitted assaulting the woman. He said the man knew it was something he should not have done and that it was wrong for him to assault the woman.