Businessman kicked woman in the head ‘with steel toe shoe’

Victim tried to lock herself into a dog cage to escape vicious assault, court hears

A Dublin businessman who kicked a woman in the head with his steel toe shoe during a vicious assault will be sentenced in November. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A Dublin businessman who kicked a woman in the head with his steel toe shoe during a vicious assault will be sentenced in November. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A Dublin businessman who kicked a woman in the head with his steel toe shoe during a vicious assault will be sentenced in November.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the man, Joseph Fraser (42), had been dating the woman for a few months when he drove to her home drunk.

Det Robert Collins told the court that the woman then hid Fraser’s car keys to prevent him from driving again and causing an accident.

Fraser got angry at this and began punching the woman in the ribs, face and head, in an attack which continued through the hallway and kitchen and into the back garden.

Fraser, of Mount Eagle Drive, Leopardstown, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Foxborough Downs, Lucan, Co Dublin, on September 19th, 2017. He has two previous convictions for drunk driving.

On Tuesday at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Melanie Greally remanded Fraser in custody pending sentence in November.

Tom Neville BL, defending, had submitted that a “confluence of events” had occurred in his client’s life leading up to the attack, including his Fraser Oil company failing, two relationship breakdowns and him seeking refuge with alcohol.

However, Ms Justice Greally stated that Fraser was “no different to a very large number of people involved in business during the period in question”.

“That does not cut much in the way of mustard as a mitigating factor in a case of extreme violence,” she said.

She put the matter back for a probation report, but told the court that a custodial sentence was “absolutely unavoidable”.

Dog cage

Mr Collins told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that the woman tried to lock herself into a dog cage in the garden to escape the assault.

Fraser dragged her back to the house by her hair, rammed her face off sliding doors and kicked her in the head with his steel toe shoe.

Mr Collins said the woman, in describing the attack, told gardaí­ that “on a scale of one to 10, the pain was 11”.

The woman eventually fled to a neighbour’s home to call gardaí. After the assault, she realised her house key, car key, mobile phone and some personal items were missing.

Mr Collins handed photos to Ms Justice Greally and explained that some showed where Fraser had kicked the kitchen door in half. Other photos detailed the woman’s injuries, including two black eyes.

He said Fraser had been arrested on the date of the assault for an unrelated public order matter and that during interview he claimed the woman had attacked him.

The woman in her victim impact statement said she now rarely went out to socialise and suffered flashbacks to the assault. She said the bruising to her leg from the assault lasted for months and that some loose skin on her eye had only recently gone away.

She also described how the attack had impacted her children and her parents.

Mr Collins agreed with Mr Neville that the guilty plea had saved further distress to the woman and that her physical wounds had healed up.

Mr Neville submitted that Fraser wished his letter of apology be conveyed to the injured party. Counsel outlined his client’s extensive work background and how he had set up Fraser Oil with his father.

Mr Neville said his client had found himself in a “bad, bad place”, but acknowledged that his personal circumstances and serious mental health issues did not justify his actions.