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The Courthouse on Anglesea Street, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
The Courthouse on Anglesea Street, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Jail for man who struck ex-partner on head with fireplace shovel

A MAN, aged 32, who was woken by his partner, launched a drunken attack where he punched her twice in the face and struck the back of her head with a fireplace shovel.

A two-year jail term was imposed today on Michael Relihan of The Belfry Apartments, John O’Connell St, Cobh, by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

He admitted that on March 18 at College View, Cobh, while assaulting his ex-partner, he produced an article capable of inflicting serious injury, namely a fire shovel.

Detective Garda Rachel McGrath said the injured party tried to wake the defendant and he immediately became aggressive. He punched her twice in the face and dragged her into the kitchen. He struck her in the back of the head with a fireplace shovel when she tried to go to the toilet. She fell to the ground.

The detective said the injured party barricaded herself in a room and phoned a friend, who came to the house, and gardaí were alerted. The victim was taken by ambulance to hospital. She got eight stitches to her forehead and staples to a wound at the back of her head. William Bulman, defence barrister, said the night before, Relihan had been out with the injured party, drinking.

“He was intoxicated when she woke up. He felt there was someone else in the house.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin said the accused was grasping onto this idea when it was patently ‘nonsense’, and attacked his then-partner to what the judge described as an appalling level. He acknowledged that the guilty plea was of benefit to the injured party.