Tuesday 24 October 2017

Ex-boyfriend left woman with brain injury after brutal attack

Nicola Murray
Nicola Murray
Paul McMenamy

Jessie Magee, Aoife Nic Ardghail and Alan O'Keeffe

THE family of a woman left with serious brain injuries after a brutal attack said it was a "disgrace" that her ex- boyfriend will serve a maximum of five years in prison.

Paul McMenamy (28) failed to get any medical attention for his victim for 12 hours after he assaulted her. She was left with such serious brain injuries that she did not recognise her son and had to relearn how to use a knife and fork.

McMenamy, of Donomore Green, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to care worker Nicola Murray at Reuben Walk, Rialto, Dublin, on February 5, 2012.

He was yesterday sentenced to six years in prison, with the final 12 months suspended. He has eight previous convictions, including assaults on two previous girlfriends in 2005 and 2008.

Last night, the victim's mother Angela (49) told the Irish Independent that her family were "disgusted" that the prison sentence was not considerably longer.

"We think it's a disgrace that the sentence wasn't long enough. He's been in custody for nearly two years so he'll be out far too soon.

"Nicola will never be the same because she has a brain injury because of his attack. And leaving her without help for 12 hours was as bad as his attack," said the angry mother.

During the court case, Detective Sergeant Mick O'Brien told the prosecution that McMenamy and Nicola had been in a relationship for 10 weeks prior to the assault.

They went to a pub on the night and called a babysitter to mind two of Ms Murray's three young children. They arrived home shortly after 2.20am.

A next-door neighbour told gardai she heard a lot of banging from next door which lasted around 30 minutes.

Det Sgt O'Brien said McMenamy had called an ambulance at 3.16am and told the emergency services that his girlfriend had fallen down.

He had indicated that Ms Murray was drunk and wasn't waking up. He didn't give the emergency services his address and hung up the phone saying he would call back.

Ms Murray's friend called to the house the following day and saw the victim in bed unconscious. Her face was swollen and she had a gash above her eyebrow.

The friend said McMenamy told her Ms Murray "went wild and ran amok with vodka" and that she came at him with a knife and whacked her head off the bed.

Another friend, Ann-Marie Kenny, said she called to the house and McMenamy said he had hit Ms Murray once to calm her down as he told her she was "like something out of 'The Exorcist'".

An ambulance was called at 4.49pm and the victim was taken to hospital where she spent one month in intensive care, a month in a ward and eight weeks in rehab in Dun Laoghaire.

In a victim impact report, Ms Murray's family said the 28-year-old used to be a "bubbly, cheerful and outgoing person but now rarely goes out and flies off the handle at the drop of a hat".

Judge Ring commented that Ms Murray's recovery "may never be complete" and that she has ongoing psychological issues.

Judge Ring ordered that McMenamy must have no contact, direct or indirect, with Ms Murray for three years after his release.

The sentence was backdated to February 9, 2012.

Irish Independent

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