News Courts

Sunday 18 August 2019

Husband beat his wife 'black, blue, purple' in attack seen by children

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

A woman whose husband beat her face "black, blue and purple" in front of their children said she could see them screaming during the attack - "but I couldn't hear them".

Judge Patrick Durcan said the husband had carried out a "horrible" assault on his wife in front of their children.

He said the children would be "scarred for life" by what they saw and "will require major intervention to get them back on board".

The judge jailed the 39-year-old husband for nine months for the assault causing harm of his wife at Ballylennan, Gort, Co Galway, on March 4, 2018.

He said the maximum sentence he could impose was 12 months and he had to take into account the guilty plea.

Judge Durcan said the man's treatment of his wife on the date was "appalling". Photos taken after the assault showed the woman's face was left "black, blue and purple".

The couple are members of the Traveller community and Judge Durcan said Traveller representative groups needed to inculcate a different attitude within Traveller society when it came to respecting other people, relationships and women and children.

The woman's victim impact statement was read to the court. The mother-of-five said: "He grabbed me by the hair and pulled me down and kept punching, punching, punching me.

"I could see the children screaming, but I couldn't hear them. This had happened uncountable times before, he is a very angry man.

"This has been the way it was since I married him. The week leading up to the beating he stabbed me twice.

"When I would fall down, he would beat me and beat me and it wouldn't stop. I had big lumps all over my head. He always beat me on the head.

"I was afraid he could kill me. There were weapons. I had numbness in my head and confusion. This went on for a few weeks at a time, maybe a few months," she said.

The woman said her youngest two children, aged two and four, and her eldest daughter witnessed the attack: "Children shouldn't have to see that. One daughter woke up a lot during the night with nightmares for months - even the baby said that 'I don't want to go back'.

Drugs

"When I was with him I was getting paid for all five children and he said that he had a bill for drugs and my children's money was all used to pay his bill. If I didn't give him my money, he would be torturing me.

"He would leave himself and the kids hungry to just get the drugs," she added.

She is now living in a refuge. "I have no home but I finally got away from him. I am very happy to be alive in the refuge and my children with me."

The accused pleaded guilty. However, his solicitor, Daragh Hassett, said there were other allegations in the victim impact statement that his client did not accept.

Irish Independent

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