Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I think that man is evil' - Woman feared for life when she was dragged from car and viciously beaten

Amanda Donegan following her attack by Anthony Quigley
Pic from Provision
Amanda Donegan following her attack by Anthony Quigley Pic from Provision
Amanda Donegan following her attack by Anthony Quigley Pic from Provision
Amanda Donegan at Cork Court Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Anthony Quigley Pic Provision

Olivia Kelleher

A FEMALE motorist who was dragged from her car and beaten in a savage unprovoked attack by a man with 26 convictions against women has blasted the courts after the perpetrator received a four year sentence with the last two years suspended.

Anthony Quigley, of Roches Heights in Mitchelstown, Co Cork was earlier this year convicted of an attack on February 5 2018 during which motorist Amanda Donegan feared for her life.

Speaking after the sentencing the victim in the case admitted that she was devastated by what she perceived as the leniency of the sentence.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Quigley (45) sustained a brain injury in a crash 19 years ago, which has left him cognitively impaired and prone to impulsivity.

Anthony Quigley Pic Provision
Anthony Quigley Pic Provision

"Having a head injury does not give him the right to give other people head injuries. I actually think that man is evil.

"Even sitting there today made me want to be sick. I feel danger all around me. I used to be a strong capable person. Sometimes I can't even go out of a house. Walking down the street frightens me. There is not enough done for people like him (with brain injuries) or people like me."

Ms Donegan said she thought she was going to die during the attack.

"If I hadn't moved my head when I did he would have got me in the temple and killed me. He started hitting through the car window because I was reversing. It was a fight for my life."

Amanda Donegan following her attack by Anthony Quigley
Pic from Provision
Amanda Donegan following her attack by Anthony Quigley Pic from Provision

Ms Donegan previously told the court that she was parking her car on Lower Cork Street, in Mitchelstown when Quigley approached her and started shouting swear words at her through the window.

She said Quigley lunged forward and assaulted her through the car window. She heard a "weird noise" and blood shot forward from her face.

She told the court that she couldn’t believe what had happened to her and that there was no lead up to the incident.

"He knocked me over on to my dog (who was on the seat next to her). I was trying to hold the dog back. Even if he had been stabbing the dog, if the dog bit him he would have been put down.

Amanda Donegan at Cork Court Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Amanda Donegan at Cork Court Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

"He (Quigley) was in the car on top of me and he was beating me and dragging me. He was smothering me. He said he would ‘f**cking kill me'. I thought he was going to break my neck."

Ms Donegan stated in evidence that she feared for her life after Quigley dragged her from her vehicle. She said Quigley put his hand over her mouth and she bit him trying to get him off her. She also got a spanner from the car in a bid to defend herself.

She stated that Quigley was stamping on her hands and that onlookers intervened and came to her assistance. She claimed that she could hardly see and that primarily she was concentrating on "trying not to be killed."

Quigley was found guilty of assault causing harm to Ms Donegan and engaging in threatening and abusive behavior towards her.

In his memorandum of interview with gardai he claimed that Ms Donegan had shouted at him calling him a "paedophile" and a "c**t." He claimed that she sustained injuries to her face when she fell outside the vehicle and hit her head off a flowerpot. The garda evidence was that no such flowerpot existed.

Onlookers indicated to the court that the assault was unprovoked. A teenager, who gave evidence by video link, said that he thought Ms Donegan was going to be killed in the incident.

In an interview with gardai Quigley said that Ms Donegan was "squealing like a pig" during the incident. He claimed that she had called him a "paedophile" and that he was "intimidated" by her.

In the course of the sentencing hearing Judge Gerard O'Brien was told that Quigley had 56 previous convictions, 26 of which were against woman.

Garda Denise Fitzgerald said that one of the convictions involved a sexual assault on a 12 year old female.

Quigley has convictions  for attacks on both women and men, for harassment and for making hoax telephone calls and messages of an explicit nature.

Barrister Niamh O'Donnabhain said that her client incurred brain damage in a a car crash 19 years ago. He was in a coma for 27 days and has been cared for by his elderly parents who since the incident. He does not work and receives no neurological supports. She said the crash caused a "profound change in personality" in Quigley.

Judge Gerard O'Brien described Quigley as being a "menace" to society. He said Quigley was not entitled  to revisit his trauma on innocent bystanders.

He commended Ms Donegan for her eloquence in her victim impact statement, which was furnished to the courts.

Emphasising that the accused was "not getting off" he sentenced Quigley to four years in custody, with the last two years suspended.

Meanwhile, Quigley was also sentenced to a further three years with the last 18 months suspended in a separate case today.

He was found guilty earlier this year of harassing four teenage girls on a bus telling them racist and sexist jokes before sexually assaulting one of them.

He had pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault, to four charges of harassment, a single charge of assault and one of threatening and abusive behaviour on December 4 2018.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that the teenagers were at the back of a bus when Quigley sat next to them. The trial heard from the girls via video link.

One of the young women said that Quigley touched her inappropriately after she started coughing. He placed his hands on her shoulder before reaching for her thighs.

"I was terrified. He started patting my thigh a few times throughout the journey. He was pushing close to me and breathing on me. He was invading my privacy. He smelled awful and he asked a few times if we liked his aftershave."

Another teenager said Quigley repeatedly said she was sexy. He called her hot and insisted that she must have a boyfriend. She told the court she was terrified by the incident.

"I was scared to go to the bus driver because I did not know him. He (Quigley) kept touching (my friend) on the thigh and the leg. He took out a piece of paper and gave me his phone number. He told me to call him and to send him compliments."

The girl said as he left his seat he grabbed her hand and squeezed it very hardly.

"I felt scared. I did not know what he was going to do. I did not know who this man was or what he would do if he got angry."

The girl gave the piece of paper to her teacher the following day and the principal alerted the gardai.

In his direct evidence Quigley said that he couldn't understand why a case had been taken against him.

"If a fella is being brought to court for this then what is the the world coming to?"

Quigley said he only engaged in banter with the teenagers and refuted suggestions that there was inappropriate contact. He insisted that inappropriate touching wasn't his style.

He said the girls seemed pleased to chat.

“I could hear them talking in the back of the bus saying, 'Jesus he is a gas man'.

Quigley admitted telling the girls that he would take them to Disneyland if he won the Lottery. However, he denied suggestions that he said they should share a room.

He also said in evidence that his brain injury often gives people the impression that he is drunk.

A jury of four women and eight men found Quigley guilty on all seven counts on the indictment.

In sentencing Judge Brian O'Callaghan commended the young women for their mature response to the unacceptable behaviour inflicted on them. He said Quigley's brain injury explained but didn't excuse his behaviour.

He stated that young people should be able to travel in a bus without fearing for their safety and added that ultimately their "space was taken."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News