Friday 19 January 2018

15 months for attack on car with baby inside

Declan Brennan

A man who took part in a violent attack on a car which had three children including a baby inside has being jailed for 15 months.

Anthony McDonnell (32) was one of three men who used baseball bats to smash all the windows in the car.

The men were involved in a feud with the father of the children and recognised his car when the children’s mother had parked it at the Tesco Clearwater shopping centre, Finglas, Co Dublin.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that McDonnell was concerned when he saw the children in the car and one man said to let them out. A third man said to leave them in it and the group began their assault.

Garda Martin Reilly told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that Bridget Collins (27) was going into the shop when she heard her 8-year-old daughter screaming.

She turned and saw the accused and his brother David McDonnell and a third man smashing the car windows while her youngest child, then aged two, was seated in a baby seat in the back of the car.

Ms Collins told the court that she was two months pregnant at the time. She said she pleaded with the men to let her get her children out of the car as broken glass fell in on top of them.

She was screaming at the men and “desperately” trying to get her baby out when she felt blows from a baseball bat to the back of her legs.

David McDonnell was shouting at her: “I’m going to kill your husband. I’m going to stab him to death” before his brother dragged him away.

Ms Collins said that her baby daughter was left with some cuts and that for a while after the attack all of her children had nightmares and were afraid to stay on their own.

She said that the men showed “no human remorse” during the attack. She rejected an apology offered by defence counsel Keith Spencer BL on behalf of his client.

McDonnell of Dunsink Green, Finglas pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Tesco Clearwater, Finglas on April 15, 2011. The court heard he has 17 previous convictions including theft and road traffic offences.

His wife Corina McDonnell gave evidence that after this incident she insisted the family move out of Finglas and stay out of trouble and any involvement with the feud.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a four year prison term but suspended all but the 15 months on the condition that McDonnell keep the peace for two years after his release.

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