Thursday 29 September 2016

Brutal home invasion thug beat his heavily pregnant girlfriend unconscious - but will not spend extra time in prison

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 12/03/2016 | 14:56

Thug Donal O’Hara (22)
Thug Donal O’Hara (22)

A Dublin man who is serving a 12-year sentence for his role in a terrifying home invasion will not spend any extra time in prison for beating his heavily-pregnant girlfriend unconscious.

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Donal O'Hara (22), with an address at Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, was before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court which heard O'Hara punched his former girlfriend, Reiltin Cassidy, in the face. She was 32 weeks' pregnant with his child and he punched her after she had been knocked to the ground.

O'Hara is a member of a notorious criminal gang that terrorised a young family in Co Tipperary in November 2014.

O'Hara pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Ms Cassidy causing her harm at Ferrycarrig Drive, Coolock, on November 21, 2012. He has 20 previous convictions.

O'Hara's counsel submitted that O'Hara was taking steroids for body building at the time which may have led to the aggression. Judge Melanie Greally accepted this as possible.

Last October, O'Hara was jailed for 12 years with seven suspended for what was described by a judge as an "evil" aggravated burglary in the home of the Corcoran family in Tipperary.

A gang of seven who travelled from Dublin to raid the house left three young children traumatised and the father with severe injuries.

During the terrifying ordeal, Mrs Corcoran managed to make a 999 call and hid the phone with the call still active under the bed, before the armed gang members threatened "we'll kill your f***ing kids".

O'Hara's former girlfriend told gardai she had confronted him outside her mother's house when he turned up being verbally abusive.

The last thing she recalled was her head hitting off the concrete.

Garda Kevin Hynes said Ms Cassidy grabbed O'Hara by the arm when he came at her in an altercation outside the house and she was knocked to the ground.

She discharged herself from hospital that day against medical advice after being treated for facial bruising.

The garda said O'Hara initially denied being at the premises but later pleaded guilty to the assault.

He said O'Hara has since reconciled with Ms Cassidy, who is mother to his two children, and she declined to make a victim impact statement.

Counsel submitted that Ms Cassidy was asking for leniency.

Judge Greally accepted that the steroids could have had an influence in O'Hara's actions.

The judge also noted there were favourable reports in court for O'Hara.

She imposed a two-and-a-half year sentence to run alongside to his 12-year sentence.

Herald

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