Tuesday 21 November 2017

Former soldier jailed for threatening to kill mother of his child

Ex-soldier Jonathan McSherry
Ex-soldier Jonathan McSherry

Declan Brennan

A former soldier has been sentenced to four and a half years for threatening to kill the mother of his child and her partner.

Jonathan McSherry (35) is already serving a prison term for a sustained assault on another ex-partner, who suffered fractures to her eyes, face and skull.

Today McSherry of Monastery Gate Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making threats to kill or cause serious harm to Nicola Nugent and Barry Horan at The Belgard Inn car park, Tallaght on March 19, 2013.

The court heard that McSherry and his ex-partner Ms Nugent have a young son together. On the morning of March 19 McSherry contacted Ms Nugent and asked to meet in the car park of the pub to discuss an issue about their son.

She and her partner Mr Horan drove to the car park. McSherry was parked and he got out of his car and ran towards their car.

McSherry began punching and kicking the victims' car “like a mad man”, the court heard. Garda Alan Young took Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that the victims saw something in McSherry's hand and believed it was a gun.

He shouted at Mr Horan: “You f**k with my son. You want a piece of me? I'm going to f*****g plug you.”

There were two other men present and Ms Nugent was begging them to get McSherry to stop. She also screamed at McSherry to stop and he told her: “You're dead. I'm going to kill you”.

She jumped on the ground then and thought she was going to be killed, she told gardaí later.

Judge Pauline Codd noted how the attack had left the victim suffering from sleeplessness and fear of McSherry.

“She said she feels that the panic would never go away,” Judge Codd said. She suspended the last two years of the sentence for two years on condition he keep the peace for that period and attend anger management and addiction treatment with the Probation Services.

Judge Codd said she was taking into consideration McSherry's plea of guilty, his expressions of remorse and testimonials handed in on his behalf. She noted that he has actively engaged in treatment for his addiction issues.

Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said McSherry, previously of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, had a history of depression and drug addiction.

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

Last November Judge Melanie Greally jailed McSherry for repeatedly punching and kicking his ex-partner in a sustained assault at Grange View Way, Clondalkin on December 20, 2015.

Jessica Bowes begged for her life during the “merciless” attack. McSherry claimed he was high on cocaine when he breached a barring order to wait at the victim's home to assault her.

Judge Greally suspended the last year of a three and a half year prison sentence on condition that he remain alcohol and free and that he attend a Probation Services group for men who engage in violence against women.

She also ordered him to refrain from having any contact with the victim. She backdated the sentence to March 2016 to take account of time spent in custody and treatment.

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