Sunday 22 January 2017

Ex-boyfriend gets 12 years for assault

Conor Gallagher

Published 21/12/2010 | 05:00

A FATHER of two was jailed yesterday for 12 years after assaulting his ex-girlfriend's employer, causing the victim to lose a foot.

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Joseph Cullen beat Kevin Byrne and chased him in a car from his former partner's home in March 2008.

The victim, a managing director of the ex-girlfriend's company, later lost his foot after being run over by a car in which Cullen was a passenger.

Cullen claimed to gardai that he was still going out with Jackie White when the incident happened, despite her evidence that they had broken up several weeks previously. He claimed he arrived at the house and saw Ms White and her employer kissing on the couch but denied assaulting him.

The court heard Cullen was a passenger in the car when the victim was run over but refused to tell gardai who was driving.

Cullen (42), of Adare Avenue, Coolock, in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and causing serious harm to Mr Byrne on March 8, 2008 at St Helena's Road, Finglas.

Vicious

Judge Patrica Ryan called it a vicious assault but took into account Cullen's good work record and the fact he was not driving the car at the time. Cullen has 24 previous convictions, including two for drug dealing and one for theft.

Detective Garda Colm O'Rourke said Mr Byrne was at a work night out and was sharing a taxi home with two fellow employees. The taxi dropped one of the employees home while he and Ms White continued on to her house.

Mr Byrne wanted to use the bathroom so he went into Ms White's house and the taxi drove off. Ms White then said that she was going upstairs to use the bathroom and he sat downstairs.

Shortly afterwards there were two loud bangs at the front door and Ms White came down the stairs. Cullen entered the house, looked at Mr Byrne and roared.

Cullen then went into the kitchen and opened a cutlery drawer. Mr Byrne ran out of the house and down the road, hearing the man chasing him and shouting: "I'm going to get you."

He continued running until he was hit by a car which sent him rolling down a hill. At the bottom of the hill, a car pulled up and three men, including Cullen, got out and started to beat him.

They punched and kicked him for "a long time" and chipped his tooth before he was able to get up and run away again.

After a short distance, he was struck again by the car which flipped him into the air. He said when he landed on the ground his legs were underneath the car and it felt like his right leg was not there.

The three men got out and Mr Byrne pleaded with them not to attack again.

One of the men said "he's had enough" and they got in the car and drove away. Mr Byrne later had to undergo eight operations, including one to amputate his right foot.

The court heard in a victim impact statement that Mr Byrne (39) was a healthy, active person but now felt in some ways that his life was no longer worth living. He had become depressed and withdrawn and dealt with "crushing" physical pain on a daily basis.

He said he believed his life was changed forever as he could no longer do simple things like play football with his son.

Irish Independent

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