A SENATOR has lashed out at lenient prison sentences for men convicted of domestic violence after a judge yesterday jailed a man for just 20 months for a brutal assault on his ex-partner.
Judge Martin Nolan said that Ralph Currivan (49) had been a "very good and law abiding citizen" until he tried to choke his ex-partner with a vacuum cleaner flex before beating her with an iron and smashing a wine bottle on her head.
The judge said he had no choice but to impose a custodial sentence due to the seriousness of the charge.
But Fianna Fail senator Averil Power, who last week in the Seanad spoke out against perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence giving compensation in lieu of jail time, said the case sent the wrong message to both victims and attackers.
Currivan of Dunawley Grove, Clondalkin, Dublin, admitted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Janet Hazel at her house in Clondalkin on December 5, 2012.
He sobbed as Judge Nolan jailed him for three years, with the last 16 months suspended.
Garda Ruth Brett said Ms Hazel had feared for her life.
In a letter read to the court, the accused apologised for the pain and distress he has caused.
He also presented €2,000 to the court in compensation, Mr Kennedy said.
However, Ms Power hit out at the sentencing.
"Most rape and domestic violence cases are not even reported to the gardai, let alone prosecuted in court.
"It is disgraceful that women who are brave enough to report their attackers and endure the ordeal of facing them in a courtroom would then have to watch them walk away with excessively lenient penalties," she told the Irish Independent.
"Financial compensation is appropriate for financial or non-violent crimes but it is outrageous to put a value on the damage that assault or rape does to a person.
"Minister Shatter should change the law immediately so that judges can no longer allow defendants to pay financial compensation in lieu of jail time."