Dublin man assaulted ex-partner while she held toddler during ‘reprehensible’ incident

Judge says accused has time to ‘put his money where his mouth is’ and change attitude towards women ahead of sentencing

A Dublin man assaulted his former partner while she was holding their toddler in her arms during a “reprehensible” attack at her home, a court has heard.

The 30-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and burglary at an address in Dublin on June 3rd, 2020.

The court heard that the man struck and punched his victim during this incident, which lasted for several hours.

After hearing the evidence on Monday, Judge Martina Baxter said the court found this type of offending “reprehensible” and placed the man in custody until Friday.


When the matter returned to court, Mark Murphy BL, defending, said his client has had a “significant wake-up call” and accepts that he behaved in a “disgraceful way” on the night in question.

Judge Baxter noted that the man has not come to garda attention since this incident but added that the court has concerns about his attitude to women and intimate partners. She adjourned the case to October 27th, remanding the man on bail, and directed the preparation of a probation report.

Change of attitude

The judge said the man would have a number of months to “put his money where his mouth is” and show a “change in his attitude towards current or former partners and women”.

A garda told prosecuting counsel that the victim heard knocking at her front door at 2.30am on the night in question and saw her ex-partner outside. He was shouting and drinking vodka. She asked him to be quiet as their then-two-year-old son was asleep, but he went into the child’s room and woke him.

The toddler started to cry and the woman tried to calm him. During this time, the man barricaded them in the sitting room, screamed at the woman and then hit her in the face.

She asked the man to stop and sent his mother a text message asking her to collect him, but received no response. When she attempted to leave the sitting room with the child, the man would pull her back. He also started to rip at her clothes.

During the incident, the man then got a knife and screwdriver from the kitchen and started to stab himself. He broke the TV while the boy was watching it and stamped on the woman’s face while she was on the ground. When he removed his foot from her face, the man asked the boy to give him a kiss.

The court heard the victim asked the man to leave and said they would talk tomorrow. At this point, she had given her phone to their son to keep him distracted. The man grabbed the phone and smashed it.

He then punched the woman in the face using his two hands and, during this time, he also punched the boy. The woman later managed to leave the house with her son and contact gardaí.

Extensive damage

She sustained swelling to the left side of her face and bruising to her face and arms, according to a medical report submitted to the court. Gardaí observed extensive damage to the property when they arrived.

The man was arrested and denied the assault when interviewed. He suggested to gardaí that the victim was violent and had assaulted him during an argument, but said he did not wish to make a complaint. He initially denied damaging the windows, but later accepted that he smashed them and the TV, but denied ripping her clothes.

The man has one previous conviction from 2020 for a public order offence, for which he was fined €300.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said she remains worried and fearful for herself and her children. She said her son is on the autistic spectrum and has been diagnosed with PTSD since this incident.

Defence counsel said his client regrets that he was not more forthright during his interview and accepts the severity of the position he finds himself in.