Saturday 16 December 2017

Crashed car and then hit girlfriend

A 28-year-old man crashed his girlfriend's car into a roundabout before hitting her across the face with a door panel, Sligo District Court was told.

Before the court was Joseph Cosgrove, Cloonloo, Gurteen who admitted a charge of assault causing harm to his then girlfriend, Amber Lynch at Collooney Roundabout on November 14th 2015. Garda John McNulty told the court that at 2.20am he went to a reported road traffic accident and observed Ms Lynch in the driver's seat in a very distressed condition.

There were injuries to her face and it was covered in blood. She was being assisted by members of the public. She stated that she had been assaulted by her then boyfriend, Joseph Cosgrove who had fled the scene. A medical report outlining the victim's injuries and photographs of same were handed in to court. The Garda said they had been coming from a boxing tournament in Sligo and there was another person in the car, a friend of the defendant.

Ms Lynch did not want this person in the car and an argument ensued over this. The defendant was driving the car at the time and he crashed it into the roundabout at Collooney "out of frustration."

The passenger also fled the scene. A row continued between the defendant and Ms Lynch. Cosgrove then used part of a door panel of the car to strike Ms Lynch across the face, said Garda McNulty. The Garda said Ms Lynch was still quite shook by the whole matter. There had been no contact between the parties since, he added. Ms Laura Spellman, solicitor (defending) said the couple had got back together soon after the incident but had now gone their separate ways.

Inspector Donal Sweeney said the defendant had 35 previous convictions including one for assault causing harm for which he was fined €750 in March 2012. There were other convictions for road traffic matters and one under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Ms Spellman pleaded that the previous assault conviction resulted in both parties being convicted. She added that the defendant was extremely apologetic to the victim.

Judge Grainne O'Neill asked why the defendant shouldn't go to jail. He had slammed a car door in his girlfriend's face. Ms Spellman said it had been a part of the plastic that had come off the door. The defendant had learned a great deal from the incident.

The case was put back to assess the defendant's suitablity for community service but when it was called again, Garda McNulty said the victim wished to address the court and that she hadn't received any apology from the defendant.

Ms Lynch told the court she never received an apology. For a week after the incident she had no contact with him and in the second week in December he had removed all his belongings from where they had been staying and it wasn't true to say they had got back together. "He hasn't paid one euro for the damage to my car. You're not one bit sorry," said Ms Lynch.

Cosgrove told the court he was sorry. "I didn't intend for things to happen the way they did. If I could go back and manage it better I would but I can't," he said. He insisted that he and Ms Lynch had got back together after the incident. He had also given her the spare wheel off his car for her own car. Judge O'Neill said that in light of the evidence given by Ms Lynch she had changed her view and was imposing a sentence of four months in prison. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.

Sligo Champion

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