Monday 11 December 2017

Man guilty of vicious assault on ex-partner that left her disfigured

Fergal McNulty.
Fergal McNulty.

Declan Brennan

A MAN has been found guilty of assaulting his former partner in an attack which has left her permanently and severely disfigured.

The victim was walking her eight-year-old son to school when Fergal McNulty (42) came up behind her and punched her twice in the face, cutting her from ear to nose.

McNulty, of Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, Dublin, and also Cois Cualann, Ballybrack, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and assault causing serious harm to Una Webb on St Anne's Road, Drumcondra, on September 3, 2009.

After two days of evidence the jury of six men and six women took three hours to return majority verdicts of guilty on both charges. McNulty will appear again in court on Monday for sentencing.

During the trial, the woman, who is in her 30s, sobbed as she described how the attack seemed to go on forever.

She told Garret Baker, prosecuting, that she was walking on St Anne's Road at around 8.30am when she felt the presence of someone behind her.

She said she looked over her shoulder and saw the accused, who she knows from a five-year relationship that ended around 2000.

"I felt blows to my face. It was hot. I thought I'm after getting punched. It just seemed to go on forever," she said.

"I pushed my son away. My main concern was the safety of my son."

The court heard she met two people at the end of the road and collapsed. An ambulance was called and she was brought to the Mater Hospital where she underwent surgery.

Dylan Murray, a consultant in facial surgery at the Mater Hospital, said he would categorise Ms Webb's scarring as severe and permanent and said she was left with a serious disfigurement.

He said in his opinion the cuts were caused by a sharp object and that this would be obvious to others.

Scene

The man had claimed that he was at a house at least five miles away from the scene of the attack at the time it took place.

He told the court that he was at the home of Jane Kane at Cois Cualann, Ballybrack. Ms Kane, who is the aunt of the man's girlfriend, Michelle Jenkins, gave evidence that she saw McNulty in bed at around that time.

Judge Patrick McCartan thanked the jury for their service. He remanded McNulty in custody to appear before him on Monday next for sentencing.

Irish Independent

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