Tuesday 23 January 2018

'Unacceptable, violent and thuggish' - Man jailed for assaulting woman on visit home from US

The Cottage Inn, Dublin. Picture: Google Maps
The Cottage Inn, Dublin. Picture: Google Maps

Isabel Hayes

A Dublin man who assaulted a woman while she was on a visit home from America has been sentenced to three years in jail, with the final 18 months suspended.

Padraig Murphy (30) was out on bail for another assault when he grabbed Tracey Pavone by the neck during a confrontation in the Cottage Inn pub, Bluebell Avenue, Dublin.

Murphy of Lindisfarne Green, Clondalkin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Ms Pavone on on June 8, 2014.

Garda Barry Hanrahan told the court that the Dublin woman, who now lives in America, was on a visit back here and had been celebrating a family Confirmation earlier that day.

She told gardaí she got into a verbal disagreement with Murphy early on in the evening, when he said gardaí were scumbags. The court heard Ms Pavone took exception to this because her brother-in-law is a guard.

During the disagreement, Ms Pavone told gardaí Murphy squeezed her wrist. Later in the evening, she said she confronted Murphy about this incident.

The court heard Murphy then grabbed Ms Pavone by the neck and dragged her by the hair out of the pub, calling her a “whore”. A woman who was with Murphy then punched and kicked her, the court heard. The entire incident was captured on CCTV.

Gardaí were called and Murphy was later arrested. Ms Pavone suffered bleeding, bruising and tenderness in the wake of the assault, but was not seriously injured, Gda Hanrahan said.

In a victim impact statement tendered to court, Ms Pavone (39) said she had panic attacks, recurring nightmares and difficulties with her confidence since the incident. Murphy had taken away her peace of mind by assaulting her the way he did, the court heard.

The court heard that at the time of the assault, Murphy was on bail for another assault offence. He was later jailed for 18 months and was released from prison in May this year.

Shaun Smyth BL, defending, said that Murphy believed Ms Pavone had spat on him when she confronted him in the bar, which caused him to react in an “abominable manner”.

“He was incensed by this and the blood rushed to his head and he reacted in a way that was unacceptable, violent and thuggish,” Mr Smyth said.

Mr Smyth said Murphy had a difficult and abusive childhood and had anger issues as a result. He worked as a carpenter in his early twenties, but was made redundant during the recession and suffered from depression as a result. He issued an apology to the court through his barrister.

Sentencing Murphy, Judge Melanie Greally noted he had a number of previous convictions, “many of which demonstrate a tendency towards violence”.

“The court cannot ignore the serious nature of the offence and the fact it was committed on bail,” she said. She sentenced Murphy to three years' imprisonment and suspended the final 18 months.

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