A FATHER-of-two who beat his wife over the head with his mobile phone and kicked her to the ground in front of their hysterical children during a New Year's Day shopping trip has been given a three-month suspended sentence.
Frantisek Griga (35) attacked and threatened to kill his wife while the family was on a shopping trip in Blanchardstown in full view of other shoppers and a security guard.
Dublin District Court heard that Helena Grigova was left with bruising to her legs and a lump on her head while her children, aged seven and 13, clung to her leg sobbing.
Judge Patricia McNamara found Griga guilty of assaulting his wife and suspended the sentence for a year.
The accused, with an address at Annagh Court, Waterville, Blanchardstown, had denied the charge, insisting that he pushed and may have "slapped" his wife, but that he was provoked following a dispute they had had.
The judge dismissed a related charge of breaching a protection order on the day and on two separate occasions on previous dates in December and November 2010.
Ms Grigova told the court she was at the Blanchardstown Centre on January 1 with her husband when he "bullied", and then attacked her.
"He beat me with his phone which he was holding in front of me," she said.
"He hit the back of my head and he kicked me twice to the ground. The kids were standing around and he was shouting: 'I will kill you'."
The victim's phone was smashed on the floor.
Griga left the scene and was arrested outside the shopping centre by Garda Christopher O'Connor.
In cross-examination, Ms Grigova denied her version of events was a "fabrication".
Security officer Lisa McCloskey said she saw the accused "box" the victim on the head and kick her leg.
"(The victim) was upset and the children were upset," Ms McCloskey said. "She was crying, the two kids were crying and hanging on to her leg."
In evidence, Griga alleged his wife had verbally abused him, threatened to call the gardai if he didn't leave and laughed at him.
He felt "extremely emotionally stressed" and held up his own phone to record what she was saying.
He admitted pushing her and said he may have slapped her with the phone, saying it was "reflexive".
Griga had no previous convictions.
Judge McNamara found the accused guilty and said even if he had felt provoked, he was not justified in assaulting his wife.