Sunday 23 July 2017

Judge Martin Nolan gives suspended sentence to attacker on condition he pay €5,000 to victim

Fiona Ferguson

A MAN who "snapped" and assaulted his then girlfriend leaving her with facial injuries has been given a suspended sentence on condition he pay over €5,000 to his victim.

Mark Jordan (39) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Jane Ruffino (37) causing her harm at their home at Ringsend Park, Ringsend on May 3, 2012.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a two and a half year sentence which he suspended in full on conditions which included that he pay €2,000 over to Ms Ruffino immediately and pay a further €3,000 over within a year as a token of remorse.

Garda Sarah Merriman told Melanie Greally BL, prosecuting, that gardai attended at the address after receiving two calls, one from Jordan himself and one from a neighbour.

Gda Merriman said Jordan and Ms Ruffino had been in a relationship for one year at the time. The relationship has since ended at the beginning of October.

Ms Ruffino said she had been working that night and was due to be collected by Jordan at 10pm. He was late so she rang him and he came in a taxi to pick her up but she could tell he was in a bad mood.

When they got home he told her he was going to bed. She said she tried to talk to him and the pair had a long talk with some unpleasant things being said to Ms Ruffino. Jordan was in bed at this stage and kept telling Ms Ruffino he hated her.

She said he went quiet, got out of bed and took her in a headlock and began punching her in the head. She was screaming and trying to get away as he screamed obscenities and said he hated her. Ms Ruffino feared she would be killed.

When Jordan turned around and noticed blood on Ms Ruffino’s face, he said “oh shit” and said to ring the gardai. Ms Ruffino shouted at him to get out and ran out onto the street screaming.

Ms Ruffino was treated in hospital for facial injuries and received four stiches to a laceration under her eye. She also sustained bruising around her head and tenderness around her neck.

Jordan sustained an injury to his hand as he assaulted Ms Ruffino and was also treated in hospital.

Jordan attributed the incident to a lack of sleep and stress in connection with his work. He said he had consumed a number of pints earlier in the evening and had snapped and hit Ms Ruffino. When he realised what he had done he said he rang emergency services.

He initially told gardai it was just one punch but accepted when shown photographs of Ms Ruffino that it was more then one punch. He has no previous convictions.

Gda Merriman agreed with Elizabeth Davey BL, defending, that Jordan made full admissions and said something had snapped in him. She agreed a neighbour had seen him crying at the scene.

Ms Davey handed in character references from college friends and colleagues which described the incident as completely out of character.

She said Jordan had studied graphic design and lived for a time in Germany with a former partner with whom he has one child. On his return to Ireland in 2009 he worked freelance before setting up his own design company in 2011.

Ms Davey said that venture had not been going well and he was currently in receipt of a back to work enterprise allowance.

She said Jordan had gone and sought treatment as he was so worried about the way he snapped. She said the relationship had now ended and he was staying in Donabate.

Counsel said he wished to apologise profusely for his actions and is unlikely to come before the courts again.

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