Monday 18 December 2017

Sligo bouncer jailed for punching his partner in face with sharp object

Declan Brennan

A Sligo bouncer who punched his former partner twice in the face with a sharp object has been jailed for eight years.

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

In a victim impact report read out in court Una Webb said the severe scarring resulting from the assault is a daily reminder of her attacker.

The mother of one said that she is not a vain person but she felt that the scar has destroyed her face.

She said that some days she cannot leave her home and she never walks her son to school anymore. She said the attack has affected her ability to raise her son.

Garda Shimlagh Martin told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that McNulty has seven previous convictions, including theft, forgery and two for common assault.

McNulty of Whitworth Road, Drumcondra and also Cois Cualann, Ballybrack, formerly of Collooney, County Sligo had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and assault causing serious harm to Ms 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.

During the trial the woman, who is in her thirties, sobbed and struggled to speak as she described the attack. She said she was walking her son to a school near their home when she felt a presence behind her.

She turned and looked over her shoulder and recognised McNulty. Within seconds she felt blows to her face. She was afraid her attacker would hurt her son and she ran away dragging the boy with her.

Ms Webb turned around a second time and saw the man across the road looking back at her. She told the trial she was in doubt that it was McNulty.

McNulty was arrested later that day. During the trial two alibi witnesses said they saw him at a house at least five miles from the assault at the time it took place.

His current partner Michelle Jenkins and her aunt, Jane Kane, said he was at Ms Kane’s home in Ballybrack that morning.

The court heard that Ms Webb was left with a 15cm permanent scar and the attack had shattered two of her teeth.

Patrick Dwyer SC, defending, said that McNulty originally came from Collooney, Co Sligo but had moved to Dublin in 1993 and had worked mainly in security and door work.

Counsel said he could not present anything else in mitigation because his client still maintains his innocence and intends to appeal the conviction.

Judge Patrick McCartan said that if McNulty wasn’t the attacker then it had to some wild deranged man who has never being discovered and who has never repeated his attack.

He said Ms Webb was “in pieces” during her testimony and that the jury had believed her and found McNulty’s testimony to be unbelievable.

The judge said it had been a horrendous and vicious assault, carried out in broad daylight on a public street which had destroyed the victim’s life.

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