Dad who attacked partner and took baby avoids prison
A Dublin man who assaulted his ex-partner and then abducted their one-year-old daughter in the early hours of the morning has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.
The 30-year-old, of no fixed abode, admitted breaking into the home of his ex-partner in Tallaght, Dublin on April 7.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the woman and falsely imprisoning their daughter on the same occasion. He cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his daughter.
The court heard gardaí found the accused man in a highly intoxicated state at around 5am, walking with his toddler 10 minutes from her home. They persuaded him to return the child to her mother.
Counsel for the accused said he was a 'Jekyll and Hyde character' who was very amenable when sober but became extremely aggressive when drunk.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to three years fully suspended, on condition he keep the peace for the duration of his jail term and abided by the supervision of the Probation Services for 18 months.
The man was also told not to approach or try to contact his ex or the child for three years, unless by consent of the mother or by order of the Family Court.
"If you breach that condition, there's every likelihood you'll spend three years in prison," warned Judge Nolan.
Garda David O'Riordan told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to the house on the morning in question to find the woman out in her driveway, very upset and panicking.
She later told them she and her three children, aged seven, five and 18 months, had all been asleep when they were woken up by the sound of a baby gate falling to the ground and the house alarm going off.
The woman told her seven-year-old son to go back to bed and followed the accused into the kitchen where he grabbed her.
He said he was "going to f***ing kill her" and kept punching her to both sides of her head, repeating he wanted his daughter.
The woman's son came into the kitchen and told the man to stop hurting his mother. The accused stopped punching the woman, hugged the child and told him it was OK.
She said her two other children screaming, so she gave her baby to the accused to try and calm down the situation and he left the house with the toddler.
Her eldest son rang 999 and gardaí soon found the accused.