Wednesday 25 April 2018

Man collided with another car while assaulting his ex-girlfriend, court hears

Car stock image
Car stock image

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A labourer has been jailed for 27 months for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in their car while he drove around Dublin.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that members of the public, including a bus driver, witnessed Aidan O'Hara's attack on Jessica Ayodeji.

Garda Paul Daly said O'Hara (36) dragged Ms Ayodeji back into the car when she tried to escape while the vehicle was stopped at traffic lights.

O'Hara, of Hand Caravan Park, Balcarrick, Donabate, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Ayodeji causing her harm at locations at Griffith Court, Drumcondra; Fairview and Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino, all in Dublin on July 5, 2017.

He further pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to remain at the scene of a collision at Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino on the same date.

He has 14 previous convictions, including assaults, drugs offences, burglary and criminal damage. One of these assault convictions is for an attack on a different partner in 2012.

Gda Daly told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Ms Ayodeji received over 26 missed calls from O'Hara the morning of the attack.

She saw him driving towards her home in the Opel Astra car they had shared during their relationship and went outside to speak to him when he beeped the horn.

O'Hara ordered Ms Ayodeji into the vehicle and then demanded to know who she was “seeing”.

Ms Ayodeji later told gardaí that O'Hara collided with another car while assaulting her, but kept driving.

She said he stopped hitting her after dragging her back into the car following her escape attempt at traffic lights and eventually pulled in at a location in Dublin's Ballymun.

Ms Ayodeji got out of the vehicle with a bust lip and a lump on her head. Gda Daly said O'Hara followed her on foot and walked alongside her while on the phone to his brother.

The court heard O'Hara was calling his brother to organise a lift home for Ms Ayodeji.

Gda Daly agreed with Rebecca Smith BL, defending, that her client had been in a relationship on and off with Ms Ayodeji for about three years.

He further agreed that O'Hara's guilty plea had spared his victim and the civilian witnesses giving evidence at trial. He agreed O'Hara had no other matters coming before the courts.

Ms Smith submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that her client had a good relationship with his three teenage children and a decent work history.

Counsel submitted that her client was filled with remorse and regret and had completed an alternative to violence course in custody while awaiting sentence.

Judge Nolan noted that Ms Ayodeji made various attempts to escape O'Hara. He accepted O'Hara had co-operated with gardaí and had taken steps to reform himself.

He imposed a 27 month jail term backdated to when O'Hara went into custody in July last year and banned him from driving for two years.

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