Woman awarded €150,000 over vicious beating by ex-partner
Former soldier Jonathan McSherry broke nearly every bone in Jessica Bowes’ face
Jessica Bowes (left) has been awarded €150,000 damages against her ex-partner Jonathan McSherry (right) as a result of a vicious beating he inflicted on her.
A woman left with long term physical and psychological damage after being severely beaten by the father of her two children has been awarded €150,000 against him by the High Court.
Jonathan McSherry (36), formerly of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, served 22 months of a 3½ year sentence for the attack on Jessica Bowes.
The former soldier accepted that he broke nearly every bone in her face and kicked her a number of times. He had apologised and the case against him was before the High Court for assessment of damages.
The court heard he owns two properties in Cavan, one of which he transferred into his mother’s name in 2017.
McSherry attacked Ms Bowes after she arrived home to Clondalkin in a taxi with others on December 20th, 2015 after being on a Christmas night out. McSherry was waiting there for her.
CCTV footage showed McSherry pulling her from the taxi and punching, kicking and dragging her along the ground. She lost consciousness twice in the attack, which lasted for more than a minute and a half, before Ms Bowes crawled into a neighbour’s house.
In her civil action, Ms Bowes told the court she was headbutted by McSherry and described his actions as “if he were hunting”. She attempted to protect herself by crawling under a parked car and believes she was kicked up to 20 times.
The consequences of her injuries included that she found it impossible to fully close her lips due to the damage and felt her face appeared deformed. Doctors had to insert a permanent metal plate through her mouth to align the facial bones.
Pyschological evidence showed Ms Bowes had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety, nightmares and is fearful for her own safety and that of her children. She was described by psychologists as severely damaged and vulnerable.
In defending the civil action, it was argued on McSherry’s behalf that in the immediate aftermath of the assault she was examined and showed no evidence of cognitive loss. It was also stated that he had to leave the army after the attack and had begun his own business. He accepted he had carried out the acts seen on video.
McSherry said he spent seven months in a centre for his drug addiction and was released early from prison to take part in an Alcoholics Anonymous course. He also took a course with an organisation helping men overcome violence.
He complained that because he had been in the eye of the media over the attack no one would employ him. He agreed that he owns an apartment Cavan, which he has transferred to his mother, and another property, also in Cavan.
Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon found Ms Bowes account of the incident was factually correct. It was, the judge said, an extremely serious case and that the assult caused the difficulties she has experienced which are ongoing and permanent.
The court noted McSherry’s admissions and apology did not come immediately. The judge noted the steps he had taken to rehabilitate himself which was welcome but did not reduce the amount of compensatory damages Ms Bowes was entitled to.