A MAN who beat up his partner in a row over their dog has been spared jail at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Joseph Lee (30) pinned the woman down and punched her repeatedly in the head.
The couple were separated at the time and he was trying to take their dog away with him.
Lee, with a current address in Tullow Road, Carlow, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Amanda Brothers at Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin, on February 13, 2011.
Judge Martin Nolan suspended a two-year jail sentence on condition that Lee obeys the instructions of the probation services and keeps the peace for two years.
The court heard the father of two has a previous conviction for assault.
The victim's injuries included a broken bone in her hand and bruising to her right eye, cheek bone and chin.
She also received stitches to her lip.
Gda Grainne McAuley told Lisa Dempsey, prosecuting, that the pair had spent the evening socialising and drinking with two friends.
They had been living together for two years but had broken up. At the time of the assault they were back on speaking terms.
Later that night they went to her home but began arguing about a dog that he had bought for her.
She told him to get out of her house and he said he was going to take the dog and she tried to stop him.
He pushed her up against the wardrobe and began hitting her. He then pinned her down and began punching her in the head.
The victim told gardai that blood was coming out of her mouth and she was crying during the attack.
She tried to fight back by kicking at Lee and by biting his hand before Lee bit her back.
Luigi Rea, defending, said his client is getting help from an organisation that deals with domestic violence issues.
He said that alcohol was a major problem on both sides of the relationship.
Judge Nolan said Lee had consumed a considerable amount of drink on the night.
A medical report and a victim impact report were read by the judge but not read out in court.
He noted that the couple are now back together and are living in harmony with their children and said that to imprison Lee now would be unjust.