A MAN who attacked his heavily pregnant ex-girlfriend has been give the maximum sentence of five years' jail.
Daniel Prenderville (26), bumped into the woman on a night out three weeks after she broke up with him, pulled her to the ground by her hair, tearing out several patches, then punched and kicked her.
After someone intervened and attempted to protect the victim's stomach, Prenderville fled the scene of the attack.
The woman was left bruised and with a broken finger, but her unborn baby was unhurt.
The victim was brought to court for the trial, but did not give evidence. Her original statement to gardai was given in evidence to the jury instead.
Judge Patrick McCartan said it was evident that Prenderville, who has 33 previous convictions including one for an assault on the same woman, had contested the case on the basis that the victim would not have the courage to come to court to give evidence.
The judge told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court there was "little to be said" for the defendant, who failed to apologise or explain the assault on Crumlin Road in October 2011.
He also noted that since Prenderville was serving six years for a separate firearms crime, and had surrendered his bail on that offence, to give him credit for the time he had already spent in prison "would make a nonsense of the process".
Judge McCartan added that because the assault was at the top end of the scale, the prison sentence would be backdated to the conviction date of December 10, 2013.
Caroline Biggs SC, defending, said that Prenderville's mother had died in tragic circumstances in 2007, and that he came from a quite impoverished background.
Ms Biggs added that her client had engaged with a psychiatrist during his time in custody and handed in two psychiatric reports on the defendant's behalf.
Prenderville claimed that the sessions had helped him a great deal and noted that his child had been a motivating factor in the process.
Ms Biggs also told how he had a history of drug addiction and asked Judge McCartan to take into account the progress he had made in custody.