Saturday 22 October 2016

Man shattered ex-partner's leg and drove her to garda station to withdraw complaint against him

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Published 18/01/2016 | 18:26


A man who shattered his ex-partner's leg and subsequently drove her to a garda station so that she would withdraw her complaint against him, has had his prison sentence increased by the Court of Appeal

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Adrian Magennis (49), with an address at Kingscourt Co Meath, had pleaded guilty at Monaghan Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting his ex-partner causing her harm at her home on January 4, 2014.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by Judge John O'Hagan on June 3, 2015.

Magennis' sentence was increased to four years imprisonment with the final 16 months suspended today following a successful appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions on grounds that his original term was “unduly lenient”. The maximum sentence was five years imprisonment.

Giving judgment in the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the injured party was the mother of three children and Magennis was the father of her youngest two. They had been in a relationship for 11 years.

On the date in question, she had returned home from Kingscourt and was verbally abused, grabbed by her hair and pulled into the bedroom where she was kicked with steel cap boots, the judge said.

Magennis had left and returned on two occasions to kick her again, Mr Justice Sheehan said. On one occasion he lifted her up so that her head hit the ceiling and on another occasion he returned with a knife causing the victim to fear for her life.

Mr Justice Sheehan said the victim made a statement in June 2014 withdrawing her complaint against Magennis.

She had been brought by him to the garda station to withdraw her complaint against him and he was waiting for her down the street, the judge said.

She subsequently stated that she had been afraid and was intimidated by him and that she wished to continue with the complaint, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Monica Lawlor BL, said Magennis was sixteen years older than his partner and he was six foot tall while she was four-foot-ten.

Ms Lawlor said the victim “felt like a rag-doll” being thrown up so that her head banged off the ceiling.

She suffered multiple bruising, a shattered leg which required the insertion of a steel bar as well as psychological scars such as panic attacks and recurrent nightmares.

Ms Lawlor said Magennis made no attempt to assist his ex-partner following the assault but left her on the floor for four hours with a shattered leg.

It must be an aggravating factor, Ms Lawlor said, that her eldest son (11) felt compelled to cycle alone on a country road in the dark for a mile-and-a-half until he reached a pizza parlour to call 999.

Ms Lawlor submitted that the sentence imposed did not reflect the seriousness of the offence.

She said the crime occured in the context of domestic violence and the fact of the relationship itself was not a mitigating factor, Ms Lawlor said.

She said offical reports found Magennis to be lacking in full insight and responsibility.

He did not think he required therapeutic services and expressed a degree of minimisation and rational for his offending blaming his ex partner for provoking him, counsel stated.

During oral submissions, Mr Justice Alan Mahon remarked that a sentence of four or five years imprisonment would not be unexpected had Magennis attacked a female stranger in the street and “why should this be different?”

Counsel for Magennis said “indeed” before adding that he was in the hands of the court in terms of drawing any comparators.

Mr Justice Sheehan said Magennis' 12 month sentence represented a substantial departure from what would be the norm and the offence warranted a sentence substantially higher than the one imposed.

Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court would impose a four year sentence on Magennis with the final 16 months suspended for a period of two years.

Magennis was required to enter into his own bond of €100 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the suspended period. When asked if he undertook to be so bound, he said 'yeah'.

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