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Burglar free after breaking into ex-partner's home and biting boyfriend before spitting blood

A burglar who broke into his ex-partner's home and bit her boyfriend's ear before spitting blood at her has been given a three-year suspended sentence.

Darren Carroll (32) of St Teresa Gardens, Donore Avenue, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary and assaulting Wayne Wheelan, in Mulhuddart, on July 15, 2007.

Emma Costelloe and her boyfriend were asleep in her home when Carroll walked into the bedroom and started to punch Mr Wheelan before biting his ear.

Mr Wheelan did not put up a fight and when Carroll told him he had to two minutes "to get out", he left the house.

Carroll then confronted Ms Costelloe, punched a door and told her if he hadn't done that he would have had to hit her.

He then spat blood in her face and started "squaring up to her" before he kicked the door off its hinges.

Det Garda Eoin Smith said Carroll immediately took responsibility for his actions when gardai arrived and when asked if he was sorry he replied "without a doubt".

Carroll had previously received a four-month suspended sentence after he had breached a barring order an ex-partner had taken out against him.

Judge Katherine Delahunt suspended the sentence on the condition that Carroll attend for alcohol treatment and counselling as recommended by the probation service, keep the peace and be of good behaviour for five years and stay away from Mr Wheelan and Ms Costelloe.


She also ordered Carroll to pay €1,000 to Ms Costelloe in compensation. Carroll has already given €900 to the victims.

Judge Delahunt noted that Carroll had not come to garda attention since the incident and had been attending counselling to deal with his aggressive behaviour. She also took into account his guilty plea.

Caroline Biggs, defending, said her client's actions that night had been "born out of drink, anger and jealously". She said his "own history" meant he found it hard to deal with his relationships breaking down.