Man viciously attacked partner in front of their children over Santa visit, court hears
23rd December 2021
A FATHER-of-three “viciously” attacked his partner in front of their children four days before Christmas when she asked him to help get them ready to visit Santa, it is alleged.
The man (34) is accused of dragging the woman to the floor, punching and kicking her repeatedly and beating her over the head with her mobile phone after she called the gardaí.
As well as suffering lacerations to the head and heavy facial bruising, the new mum was left unable to care for her newborn two-week-old baby because of hand injuries, a court heard.
She alleged her partner continued to beat her while she was on the phone to the gardaí and said afterwards: “Wait till you see what I’m going to do to you for this.”
Judge Treasa Kelly granted the man bail despite Garda objections over fears that he will return to the woman’s home and the violence will escalate.
She imposed bail conditions and adjourned the case at Dublin District Court for the directions of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The man, a community employment worker, is charged with assault causing harm to his partner and breaching a domestic violence order at her home in the south inner city on Tuesday, December 21.
Objecting to bail, a garda said it was alleged the accused was in bed when his partner asked him to help get the children ready to visit Santa. It was alleged he got up and dragged her to the ground by the hair and punched, stamped on and kicked her head.
It was alleged that, after she broke away and rang the gardaí, he snatched the phone from her hand and struck her a number of times on the head with it, causing two lacerations that required seven stitches in hospital.
She suffered extensive bruising to her face and paramedics had initially suspected a broken jaw, nose, damaged eye socket and two broken fingers, but the injuries were found to be soft tissue.
When the gardaí arrived, the accused was leaving and his clothing was stained with what was suspected to be his partner’s blood.
As he was being led away, he shouted at his partner: “Sorry I pushed you.”
The garda had serious concerns for the safety of the woman and her children. She was not satisfied with any bail conditions as she believed it was “extremely likely” the accused would breach them.
Defence solicitor Donal Quigley said the accused maintained it was his partner who was the aggressor, that she attacked him and injuries she suffered were due to the “wrestling” that resulted, or were self-inflicted.
The alleged victim told the court that, on the morning, the two children needed to be brought separately to visit Santa in their creche because they were in “pods”.
She asked for his help and he said: “I’m not going anywhere.” After she answered “something smart”, she said, he jumped out of bed and attacked her on the sitting room floor.
In the bedroom, she said, he grabbed her by the neck and “strangled” her and “punched the head off” her.
She accepted she bit him and pushed back in defence. He hit her with the phone after she called the gardaí and began “growling” in her face, she said.
She told Mr Quigley she did not attack his client.
“I didn’t have the strength to defend myself,” she said, breaking down in tears. “Look at him and look at me. He hasn’t a mark on him. Look at my face.”
She said she withdrew previous complaints against her partner to try to “make things better at home” and she “didn’t want him locked up for Christmas”.
The woman said she was in fear that the accused would return to her home if released on bail.
The judge said the woman was injured and the charges were serious, but the accused was presumed innocent.
She granted bail at €300 with no cash lodgement, on condition he signs on twice daily at a garda station and notifies gardaí if he gets an address. He is to have no contact with his partner or children, and must stay away from her home and out of south Dublin entirely.
“I’m going to go to hospital as soon as I get out of here because I don’t feel too good myself,” the accused said.