A FATHER-of-one who hit his partner of 10 years in the face with a set of car keys, injuring her eye, has been ordered to do community service to avoid a jail sentence.
John Carton (32) was holding the keys when he struck the mother of his child in a row at her home.
He was given a 200-hour community service order after a court heard his behaviour had been "bullying" and "despicable".
He was also told to pay €650 compensation to the victim and her daughter.
Carton, a taxi driver, of Durrow Road, Crumlin, admitted a charge of assault causing harm to his ex-partner Kelly O'Malley in an incident at Dolphin House, Dolphin's Barn, on November 24 last year.
Dublin District Court heard she was left with a cut and bruising above her eye following the assault.
Garda Conor Fox said he received a complaint from Ms O'Malley and arrested Carton, who made admissions when taken to Pearse Street Garda Station.
Ms O'Malley had not sought medical treatment as she felt the injury would heal by itself. The cut did eventually heal.
The assault happened in the course of a row which became "very heated and animated", Carton's barrister, Geraldine Biggs said.
There had been "a degree of gesturing and shouting on both sides", and he did not recall striking Ms O'Malley but accepted that he did it.
He had struck out without intending to do so but was reckless and regretted it.
The couple had been in a relationship for 10 years and had a daughter together. Carton had seven previous convictions, including public order offences, assault and criminal damage.
Ms Biggs said that incident related to damage that was caused in a bar and a staff member who was put in fear but not actually assaulted.
Carton had turned to drinking very heavily after his father passed away seven years ago.