Father to be sentenced for assault of son and pregnant partner

The 32-year-old man pleaded guilty to the assaults at their family home in Dublin on November 29th, 2020
Father to be sentenced for assault of son and pregnant partner

Sonya McLean

A man who threw his son against a metal bed frame when the young boy tried to stop his father attacking his pregnant mother has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the children in the house called gardaí to alert them to the fact their father was assaulting their mother.

When officers arrived, they found a young infant lying in her cot crying. Her babygrow was covered in her mother’s blood and the woman was lying nearby, unconscious.

A local garda told Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, that she was directed to an upstairs bedroom by a 15-year-old girl, the oldest child in the house.

When the garda walked into the room, the man was kneeling over the woman with his hands just below her neck near her collar bone. The garda demanded that he move away from the woman, which he did. She then went to the baby in the cot and confirmed she was unharmed.

The woman was five months pregnant at the time and drifting in and out of consciousness. There were pools of blood on the floor and she was bleeding heavily from her head, the court heard.

Distressed

The garda said the three older children, aged 11, 12 and 15, were huddled together in a distressed state in another bedroom.

The 12-year-old boy had bruising to his shoulders and a cut on his face. He told gardaí he had woken up to his parents fighting, explaining he had "tried to save" his mother.

However, he said his father dragged him out of the room and threw him against a metal bed frame. The boy then got upset and started crying.

The woman later told gardaí the man hit her hard in the head and she was afraid he was going to kill her in front of the baby.

“I saw hate in his eyes. I thought I was going to die. I was trying to stay awake because I was afraid I was going to lose the baby,” the woman said, referring to her unborn child.

The man was taken into custody that night and the woman was brought to hospital for treatment. The four children were taken into State care but were returned to their mother upon her release from hospital the following day.

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of his son, pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner causing her harm, and to assaulting his son at their family home in Dublin on November 29th, 2020. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the case to October 14th, 2022 and ordered the preparation of a report from the Probation Service for that date to allow for a spousal assault risk.

The judge acknowledged the man’s partner had not prepared a victim impact statement and was still in a relationship with the man.

Judge Greally accepted the woman wanted her partner to be released from prison and to get help in the community, but added she could not remand the man on bail.

The judge told the woman she and her partner had to face the reality that he would be going to prison for doing what he did that night, to which the woman replied that her children were expecting their father to get out of jail and “were excited to see their daddy”.

Judge Greally told the woman her partner’s behaviour was impacting on both her and her children and there is “no question that he will be serving time for these assaults”.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email helpline@womensaid.ie) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email hello@mensaid.ie) for support and information. Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.

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