A row with a woman over use of a mobile phone in a restaurant led to an assault conviction for a 32-year-old Wexford businessman.
But Judge James McCourt, sitting at the Circuit Court, decided not to send Nevan Stokes, with an address at 30 Beech Lawn, Clonard, to jail.
Instead, the twelve month sentence recorded against the defendant was suspended in full.
Stokes pleaded guilty to assaulting Kelly Hanley outside her home at 16 Ferndale Terrace on August 31 in 2019.
He also admitted putting a rock through the window of Ms Hanley’s parked BMW on the same occasion.
Investigating Garda Ross O’Carroll gave the court a summary of what occurred on the night in question.
The pair were in a relationship at the time, the garda explained by way of background, but were not co-habiting.
They went to eat that evening at The Yard but a row began and the meal ended early.
It appeared that hostilities had broken out about the phone, prompting Ms Hanley to leave for home in a taxi.
Stokes followed, in a second taxi, and the arguing resumed at the house.
The complainant gathered up items belonging to the accused mainly clothing and threw them at him.
The defendant began shouting, calling her names as the two protagonists came outside on to the driveway.
There he picked up a cement flower pot with which he shaped to damage the car but she prevented him and the flowerpot smashed when it fell.
She then attempted to manhandle him out the gate, pushing him from the garden towards his car which was out on the roadway.
However, he picked up a block or stone which was used to keep the gate open, smashing the rear window of the BMW.
When she redoubled her efforts to eject him from her property, he threw her to the ground.
She later told gardaí that she suffered scrapes along her legs as a result.
Afterwards she discovered that both legs were bruised and that she also had grazes on her neck.
The doctor she consulted later put her on anti-depressants and on medication to help her sleep.
The court heard that Ms Hanley had kicked the accused man’s car during the altercation.
The row ended after neighbour Margaret Doyle arrived at the scene with her husband to separate the fighting couple.
In the aftermath of the confrontation, Ms Hanley paid €2,246 to Trinity Motors for repairs to her 2010 registered vehicle.
As she no longer felt safe in Ferndale Terrace, she handed back the keys of her council house and went to live in a mobile home.
She continued to feel anxiety and underwent hypnotherapy in Gorey.
The garda agreed that the relationship which exploded that night had been a volatile one.
Stokes, originally from Dublin but brought at a young age by his family to Wexford, had a record of 19 previous convictions.
These included various public order matters and one count of drug dealing.
Defending barrister Caroline Latham said that her client’s offending in the past had been linked to drugs.
However, he was now drug free and running a business with his brother, counsel revealed.
He had settled down with his fiancée Gillian Wright – who was present in court along with his mother and their child.
Ms Latham stressed that he was extremely contrite and that he accepted his responsibility for what happened.
A sum of €5,000 was offered to the injured party and the money was in court.
Judge McCourt took the time to read a victim impact statement lodged by Kelly Hanley.
Addressing Nevan Stokes on the events of the night that landed him in troubled, he observed: ‘You didn’t have the good sense to step back.’
It was accepted that the defendant was now a law-abiding and tax-paying person with family responsibilities.
The 12 month sentence recorded by the judge was suspended, with conditions.
He was directed to have no contact with the injured party and to relay a further payment of €1,000 towards the cost of repairing the BMW.