‘Obsessive’ university student assaulted girlfriend and keyed car

Chris Hanson pleaded guilty to assaulting ‘high-achieving’ Ennis woman

An ‘obsessive and possessive’ university student has pleaded guilty to twice assaulting a ‘high achieving’ Ennis woman and ‘keying’ her new car and causing €1,100 of damage.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Insp Tom Kennedy said that Chris Hanson (21) of Clogga, Cratloe, Co Clare carried out his offences after his relationship with his then girlfriend 'took an unsavoury turn'.

Insp Kennedy said the two were attending the University of Limerick (UL) when the relationship commenced in June 2016.

Insp Kennedy said the relationship was “fine” at the start for a number of months but the woman - now aged 22 - “would say that it took an unsavoury turn”.


“This was in the context of a lot of intensity coming from Mr Hanson who was possessive and obsessive towards her and domineering. She felt that he dominated her.”

Insp Kennedy said one of the assaults took place on June 29th, 2017 when Mr Hanson slapped his then girlfriend in the face while they were in the car.

“He didn’t injure her but she got very upset by it,” Insp Kennedy said.

On July 13th, 2017, the woman was staying over in Galway as part of her work “and he doesn’t want her doing that”, the inspector said.

“There was a row in the car and she was hit on the arm to the extent that she sustained a bruise.”

Insp Kennedy said on July 21st, Mr Hanson smashed a Daniel Wellington watch valued at €120 at his home in Cratloe and on July 25th caused €1,100 of damage to the bodywork of the woman’s 171-registered car when he ‘keyed’ it in the grounds of Killashee House hotel, Co Kildare.

Smashed iPhone

At the same location, Mr Hanson smashed the woman’s iPhone valued at €550.

Insp Kennedy said Mr Hanson has no previous convictions.

Solicitor for Mr Hanson, Caitríona Carmody said her client had “let his family down” and was “acutely embarrassed about that and is most apologetic over what he put the victim through”. she said he is attending counselling “in attempting to dealing with issues”.

She said that financial compensation is in place for the woman.

Ms Carmody said Mr Hanson was studying International Business at UL and transferred into Technology Management and was in a very intense relationship with the woman.

She said Mr Hanson’s then girlfriend “was a high achiever and things began to deteriorate when she was branching from business into accounting around the time of an internship”.

Ms Carmody said: “He was worried that he would lose her and he reacted very badly. He was emotionally immature and she was trying her best to end the relationship.”

She said Mr Hanson went to counselling and was admitted to a psychiatric unit. She asked Judge Durcan to take into account Mr Hanson’s plea of guilty, good record and testimonials handed into court.

Judge Patrick Durcan said he required a pre-sentence Probation Report on the accused and a victim impact statement from the victim in the case. He remanded Mr Hanson on bail to re-appear before court in October.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times