A ‘demonic’ assault was carried out by a young man on his wife and he then put two of his children into the back of his car in the middle of the night at their remote rural home before crashing into a bog.
Gardaí embarked on a major manhunt and it took three hours before they found the crashed car stuck in the bog with the drunk driver asleep behind the wheel as his two young children crawled around in the back of the car.
One of the charges to which the young man pleaded guilty was endangerment of the lives of his children and there is a prohibition on identifying the accused in order to protect the identities of the children.
Before this endangerment occurred there was what Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin described as a demonic attack by the man on his wife.
Garda Brian Ahern said it all occurred on February 10 after the family had been out at a party.
There was a row between the parents when they got home and the defendant assaulted his wife.
“He smashed her head off a tiled floor and she was knocked unconscious. He waited until she came to and he smashed her head off the tiles again and began choking her,” Garda Ahern testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The victim locked herself in the bathroom to protect herself. That was when he drove away with the two children.
They were not found until 4am on what was a dark and very cold night.
“A number of gardaí were involved in the search. It took three hours to find the vehicle,” Garda Ahern said.
Sinead Behan, defence barrister, said, “He and his wife have reconciled. He is working full time and attending AA.”
He faced sentencing for assault causing harm to his wife and endangering the two children by his driving.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that he would suspend the jail sentences – two years for the assault and three years for the endangerment. He banned him from driving for five years.
“This was a prolonged, demonic assault on (wife’s name) which only stopped when she locked herself in the room.
“Ms (wife’s name), it is no consolation to me that you are reconciled. If this happens again everyone points at the judge and says why did he not put him in jail originally,” the judge said.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was with hesitation that he suspended the sentences.