Man who beat his ex in front of their child is spared jail
A man who viciously beat his ex-girlfriend and tore out her hair in front of their child has been given a suspended sentence after a judge said he would have a difficult time in prison due to his lack of English.
Italian Davide Sanfillipo (30) attacked his ex-girlfriend on the day of their child's christening because he saw a message on her phone from another man.
He later told gardaí that she had "played with his patience," Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
Judge Martin Nolan called it a "cowardly attack" but noted that Sanfillipo would have a difficult time in prison due to his lack of English.
He said he had decided "with some hesitation" not to send him to jail, before imposing a two-year suspended sentence and ordering him to pay over €3,000 to the woman.
Sanfillipo (30), with an address in Drumcondra, Dublin, but originally from Palermo, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the woman at Highfield Road, Rathgar on October 1, 2015.
He has a number of minor previous convictions from Italy.
Garda Leslie McCormack said the couple met when the woman was on holiday in Italy. He moved to Ireland, where they had a child in 2014.
They broke up a short time later and remained separated, despite Sanfillipo's efforts to rekindle the relationship.
On the day of the assault, they had gone shopping ahead of the christening. He was in her house when he saw a message from a man on her phone.
Sanfillipo took her phone and told her she would be getting no more messages from the man.
They then got into the car, with the victim in the driving seat and Sanfillipo in the back seat with the child.
He began punching her repeatedly to the back of the head. He also tore out clumps of her hair. He said he would kill her.
The woman later said she was scared for her life but more concerned about the safety of their infant child.
She managed to get out of the car and flag down a passing motorist, who took her and the child to Rathmines garda station. Sanfillipo was arrested.
Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, said he admitted in interview "he had made a mistake" but said his ex-girlfriend had played with his patience.
Defence counsel Luigi Rea BL said Sanfillipo "puts (the attack) down to immaturity".