A DUBLIN mum has escaped jail for letting her two little girls be abused on a systematic basis.
A court heard how the woman did nothing to stop her partner savagely beat the girls, aged just 4 and 5.
The five-year-old child was kicked so badly that a consultant described her injuries as the worst he had seen in his 20-year career.
Their mother, who is in her early 30s, admitted she was complicit in the abuse of her two daughters.
They were repeatedly beaten by her ex-partner on the legs, buttocks and arms.
A consultant described it as "the worst case of bruising" he had seen.
The mother also admitted to hitting one of her girls while she was in the bath.
A court heard the woman's ex-partner, who has denied the charges, was a "very strong influence" on her, cut off any contact with her family and stopped her from talking to people on the street.
The court was told that during the attack, the girls tried to hide under a bed to escape the beatings from the Dublin woman's ex-partner.
Blanchardstown District Court heard the woman only returned to Ireland after a European arrest warrant was issued for her arrest. She has not seen her daughters for four years.
Describing it as a "very tragic case", Judge Patrick McMahon sentenced her to 10 months in prison suspended for a year.
The defendant admitted to two counts each of ill-treating her daughters and allowing them to be assaulted on dates between May and August 2006, contrary to Section 246 of the Children Act.
Garda Sergeant Michael Troy said the defendant's daughter was taken to hospital with cuts and bleeding to her bum on August 1, 2006. Sgt Troy said the woman gave a false name and address and the child was removed from hospital.
The HSE was called, and both children were later located and examined by doctors. They had suffered extensive bruising to their legs, buttocks and arms.
Sgt Troy said the defendant, and her co-accused, fled to Scotland before he could interview them, and only returned five weeks ago on foot of a European arrest warrant. The woman has not seen her children since she left Ireland in August 2006.
Defence lawyer said the children, and the defendant, were happy until she started dating the co-accused, her ex-partner.
Her family expressed concerns about his behaviour towards the defendant and her children in February 2006, and he then cut off contact with them.
The children were afraid of him, and he was a very strong influence on her, the court heard. He also hit her, once leaving her with a bloody nose.
The lawyer said the defendant was also a victim, and is clearly in need of help.
Judge McMahon said this was one of the most sad and difficult cases he has dealt with. He said the defendant needs the support and help of the probation services.
The judge sentenced the woman to 10 months in prison suspended for one year.