Man jailed for attack on car with children inside
A MAN who took part in an attack on a car which had three children, including a baby, inside has being jailed for 15 months. Anthony McDonnell (32) was one of three men who used baseball bats to smash all the windows in the car.
The men were involved in a feud with the father of the children and recognised his car when the children’s mother parked at Tesco Clearwater shopping centre in Finglas, Co Dublin.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that McDonnell was concerned when he saw the children in the car and one man said to let them out. A third man said to leave them in it and the group began their assault.
Garda Martin Reilly told Anne Rowland, prosecuting, that Bridget Collins (27) was going into the shop when she heard her eight-year-old daughter screaming. She saw the accused and his brother, David McDonnell, and a third man smashing the car windows while her youngest child, then aged two, was seated in a baby seat in the back of the car.
Ms Collins told the court she was two months pregnant at the time. She pleaded with the men to let her get her children out of the car as broken glass fell in them.
She was screaming at the men and “desperately” trying to get her baby out when she felt blows from a baseball bat to the back of her legs. David McDonnell was shouting at her: “I’m going to kill your husband. I’m going to stab him to death” before his brother dragged him away.
Ms Collins said her baby daughter was left with some cuts and for a while after the attack her children had nightmares and were afraid to stay on their own. The men showed “no human remorse” during the attack. She rejected an apology by defence counsel Keith Spencer on behalf of his client.
McDonnell, of Dunsink Green, Finglas, pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Tesco Clearwater on April 15th, 2011. The court heard he has 17 previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan imposed a four-year prison term but suspended all but 15 months on the condition that McDonnell keep the peace for two years after his release.