Tuesday 14 August 2018

Fair City's 'Zumo' jailed for a month for assaulting ex-girlfriend is released after just two days

Patrick Fitzpatrick at his home in Ballymun
Pic Steve Humphreys
Patrick Fitzpatrick at his home in Ballymun Pic Steve Humphreys

Conor Feehan and Ian Begley

A FORMER Fair City star is back on the streets – just two weeks after being jailed for a vicious assault on his former partner, during which he punched and choked her.

Dublin actor Patrick Fitzpatrick was sentenced on July 25 to one month in prison for attacking his former girlfriend Sarah Behan.

However, Independent.ie can reveal that Fitzpatrick, who played Carrigstown villain Zumo Bishop in the popular soap, was released two days later after lodging an appeal over his sentence.

He also has a conviction for assaulting a previous partner.

Conor Feehan confronts Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick at his home in Ballymun
Pic Steve Humphreys
Conor Feehan confronts Actor Patrick Fitzpatrick at his home in Ballymun Pic Steve Humphreys

Fitzpatrick (29) did not want to comment on the attack or his brief time behind bars when approached by Independent.ie yesterday.

Ms Behan told after his sentencing how she thought she was going to die at the hands of the Ballymun man during the attack in her home.

The incident happened in September 2016 after the couple had watched the All-Ireland final in their local pub.

At one point an ex-boyfriend of Ms Behan came up and said hello and she introduced him to Fitzpatrick.

Ms Behan told how it “was all very innocent” and she thought nothing of it when she got home.

But she said Fitzpatrick suddenly pinned her up against the wall and asked what was going on between her and her former boyfriend.

“The look in his eyes was of complete anger and he demanded that I give him my phone,” Ms Behan said.

“When I handed it over he told me that I won’t be needing it any more and flushed it down the toilet.

Sarah Behan, who was a victim of domestic abuse by Fair City's Patrick Fitzpatrick
Sarah Behan, who was a victim of domestic abuse by Fair City's Patrick Fitzpatrick

“My son was very frightened and tried to come out of the room, but Patrick held the door closed – shouting at him to stay inside.

“He then ran at me and just starting hitting me as hard as he could.

“I was then dragged back into the sitting room and kitchen where he continued to beat me.”

Ms Behan ran towards the window to scream for help and contemplated jumping from the second floor to save herself.

SCREAM

She said she thought she would have a better chance of survival doing this as she thought Fitzpatrick was going to kill her.

Neighbours began to emerge after hearing the commotion, but the attack did not end there.

Ms Behan told how Fitzpatrick dragged her back inside and began choking and punching her once again.

Her five-year-old son then came running into the sitting room in a bid to protect his mother, but he was hit several time on the face and head.

Using another mobile, Ms Behan managed to ring the gardai during her ordeal and dropped it on the windowsill in the hope that officers could track her location.

She managed to get to the front door and down the stairs and one of her neighbours took her and her son into her home.

However, Fitzpatrick attempted to kick the door down.

Ms Behan said gardai soon arrived at the scene and immediately arrested Fitzpatrick But the following day he appeared before Blanchardstown Court and was released.

Fitzpatrick’s one-month sentence came just two months after he was spared a jail sentence for punching and biting another ex-partner.

He received a 12-month probation bond for the attack on Theresa Gannon and had to pay her €2,000 in compensation.

Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Gannon at his home at Hollytree Terrace, Ballymun, on September 4, 2015.

Judge John Lindsay noted that he had complied with an order, made at an earlier stage, to pay €2,000 to his former partner.

Defence counsel Simon Donagh asked the judge to note his client had engaged positively with the Move organisation, which helps address domestic violence, and was also going to AA.

GANGSTER

However, the judge pointed out that the probation report said he had not been attending.

Mr Donagh said there had been a gap but Fitzpatrick was now going again, three times a week.

Detailing the attack at an earlier hearing, Garda Niall Carolan said Fitzpatrick bit Ms Gannon’s arm before punching her twice on the side of her jaw.

She suffered bruising and photos of her injuries were shown to the court.

Fitzpatrick played Fair City gangster Zumo Bishop for six years, from 2007-2013, and briefly reprised the role last year.

His hardman alter ego was at the centre of some of the biggest storylines of recent years.

Herald

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News