Wednesday 13 November 2019

Nine years for stabbing and burning girlfriend

Violent: Colin Ryan beat and stabbed Simone Lee at her home at Thomond Villas in Limerick.
Photos: Liam Burke/Press 22
Violent: Colin Ryan beat and stabbed Simone Lee at her home at Thomond Villas in Limerick. Photos: Liam Burke/Press 22
Simone Lee. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Colin Ryan beat and stabbed Simone Lee at her home at Thomond Villas in Limerick. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

David Raleigh

A judge dismissed provocation as a factor in the case of a man who beat, stabbed and scalded his partner.

Judge Tom O'Donnell described how gardaí walked into a "bloodbath" after the attack by Colin Ryan on Simone Lee. The judge sentenced Ryan (30), of St Ita's Street, St Mary's Park, Co Limerick, to nine and a half years in jail, with the final two suspended.

Ryan had pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Ms Lee (39) on November 27, 2016.

She sustained a brain injury, a broken nose, broken bones and scald injuries. She suffered burns to her face, neck, trunk and eyelids. She was also stabbed in the back.

Gardaí initially believed Ms Lee was a victim of an acid attack but now believe she was scalded with boiling water.

In her victim impact statement, Simone Lee said Ryan was initially kind and she considered him "my shining armour".

"But, on the night, he just beat me and beat me and beat me some more.

"You didn't see me as a human being. You beat me to within an inch of my life," she told Ryan in her statement. "All I can remember is fear, and it haunts me daily."

She added: "The mirror is my enemy. It pains to see my reflection."

The judge said: "Gardaí encountered what can only be described as the most horrific of scenes. The flat can only be described as a bloodbath. There was blood everywhere."

Furniture and two televisions were found smashed up.

Gardaí found Ms Lee semi-naked and unconscious on the floor with burn marks and stab wounds on her back.

Ms Lee was taken to St James's Hospital, Dublin, where she was put in an induced medical coma for three weeks.

It was accepted both Ryan and Ms Lee appeared to be in a volatile relationship, fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

Following his arrest, Ryan denied any wrongdoing. He had initially told gardaí he found Ms Lee covered in blood after he called to her flat.

The court heard there were no witnesses and Ryan's guilty plea was "very welcome".

His barrister Mark Nicholas described it as "a desperate case".

His client had two previous District Court convictions for non-violent offences.

Vicious

"The assault was quite clearly a sustained, vicious, savage attack," the judge said.

He noted Ryan's guilty plea was "a public acknowledgment of his wrongdoing".

The judge said that while both parties had had a "volatile" relationship, there was no evidence as to what "lit the fuse" on the night.

Defence submissions were presented to the judge which included a reference to "provocation".

The judge rejected this.

He added: "No human - let alone a defenceless woman - should be subjected to such a vicious and savage and cowardly attack as was meted out to the victim."

Irish Independent

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