Man gets extra prison time after kicking ex-partner unconscious

DPP sought review of Robert Maguire’s sentence due to unduly leniency

Robert Maguire (35) had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to assault causing harm and false imprisonment of the woman at her home in Dublin in 2012.

Robert Maguire (35) had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to assault causing harm and false imprisonment of the woman at her home in Dublin in 2012.

 

A man jailed for two years for a “vicious” assault on his ex-partner, who he kicked unconscious in her bedroom, has been given extra jail time following an appeal by prosecutors.

Robert Maguire (35), of Colthurst Gardens, Hunting Glen, Lucan in Dublin, had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to assault causing harm and false imprisonment of the woman at her home in Dublin on January 14, 2012.

The 30-year-old woman woke up in her bed to find Maguire standing over her, spitting at her. He threatened to kill her before kicking her in the genitals and beating her into unconsciousness as her children screamed outside the locked bedroom door.

He was given two concurrent four-year sentences with the final two years of each suspended by Mr Justice Paul Butler on July 6th, 2017.

The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully sought a review of Maguire’s sentence on grounds that it was “unduly lenient” and he was accordingly give a three-year jail term.

Giving judgment in the three-judge court, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said Maguire and the victim had been in an on-off, and often troublesome, relationship from 2002 to 2011. He had two children with the mother-of-four.

On the evening in question, the victim awoke to find Maguire in her bedroom shouting and spitting at her.

Children screaming

There were two young children outside the room screaming and a baby in a cot in the room was awoken and started crying. Maguire prevented the victim from comforting the child and he handed the baby to one of the two children outside, returned to the bedroom and locked the door, where he continued assaulting the victim, the judge said.

The gardaí were called after a neighbour heard screaming and the victim was hospitalised as a result of her injuries.

Maguire had 13 previous convictions including one for theft, Mr Justice Mahon said.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gráinne O’Neill BL, submitted that the decision to suspend 50 per cent of both sentences was “unduly lenient”.

Ms O’Neill said a probation report had concluded that Maguire was suitable for community service. However, she said it contained a number of worrying and troubling aspects.

According to the report, Maguire minimised the incident, did not accept the psychological impact on the victim, claimed she was a chronic drug user, identified himself as a victim, was uncooperative, had limited insight and was placed at a high risk of re-offending within the next 12 months.

Defenceless

Ms O’Neill contended that the attack was nothing short of a viscous, brutal and violent assault on a defenceless woman which commenced at a time when she was sleeping in bed.

It was particularly distressing that three of the victims’ young children, two of whom where Maguire’s children, witnessed or were in ear-shot of what could only have been a terrifying spectacle.

Mr Justice Mahon said the headline sentence of four years for the assault, where the maximum was five, may itself have been very lenient in light of these facts.

He said the court was satisfied that the decision to suspend half of both sentences amounted to an error in principle. The mitigating factors did not justify such a reduction and the net custodial sentence of two years was “unduly lenient”, the court found.

Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court would re-sentenced Maguire to four years imprisonment on both counts to run concurrently with the final 12 months of each suspended for three years.

Maguire was required to enter into a good behaviour bond for the suspended period and he undertook to be so bound.

The court noted that he had taken “impressive” steps while in prison and the court encouraged him to continue on that path.