Sunday 4 December 2016

Mother 'begged for her life': Ex-soldier's merciless attack left former partner 'deformed'

Declan Brennan

Published 12/11/2016 | 07:22

Jonathan McSherry
Jonathan McSherry

A JUDGE has said she will jail a former soldier who repeatedly punched and kicked his ex-partner, fracturing her eyes, face and skull.

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Jessica Bowes begged for her life during the "merciless" attack by Jonathan McSherry.

Judge Melanie Greally said that, after his "brutal acts of violence", McSherry left his victim unconscious and in "a very perilous position".

McSherry (34), of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Grange View Way, Clondalkin, on December 20, 2015.

Footage of the attack, played in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, showed him punching Ms Bowes to the ground, kicking her at least four times and then dragging her along the ground and continuing to punch her.

Ms Bowes lost consciousness after the first punch and then a second time during what she described as a merciless attack. She said she thought she was going to die.

The assault left her with permanent scarring and nerve damage.

In a victim impact report, the mother-of-three said her lips wouldn't close together fully and, in a cold environment, her top lip didn't move, making her face look "deformed".

The court heard there were fractures to her skull, eye sockets and cheek bone. The imprint of a shoe was left on her face and there were boot marks under her chin.

anxiety

She had a metal plate put into her face. Her memory was impaired and she relied on her 10-year-old daughter to remind her of the younger children's birthdays.

Ms Bowes said she was now overprotective of her children and in a constant state of anxiety. She had nightmares about McSherry and became paralysed with fear and "trapped in a nightmare".

When she wakes up from these nightmares, she cries her eyes out.

Judge Greally remanded McSherry on bail until December 21 so he can continue his treatment at the Coolmine residential drug treatment programme.

She said that a prison sentence was inevitable given the severity of the assault and of the injuries.

Garda Stephen Kelly told the court that there was a barring order placed against McSherry the previous January.

On the night of the attack, the victim and two friends were getting a lift to her home from a nightclub.

McSherry was waiting at the house and jumped on the car, smashing its front window with his fists. He then began his attack, punching the victim up to eight times.

At one point, when she regained consciousness, she told him, "you're going to kill me", but he kept punching her in the head.

McSherry was arrested on the night and remanded in custody until the following April, when he was granted bail on condition he take part in the drug treatment programme.

shock

Counsel for the defence Rebecca Smith said her client had a history of depression and drug addiction. She said that his time in prison was a short, sharp shock and the best thing to happen to him.

She said since then he had genuinely turned his life around and had successfully engaged with alternatives to violence programmes at Coolmine.

Counsel said McSherry, who has two young children with the victim, had no words to express the remorse he has for his actions.

"He has done everything he can to make amends, to try to change himself, for the sake of his family and for the sake of his children," she said.

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