GRINNING SAVAGE |
Thug who bit pregnant partner in face and stranger in neck walks free after just two years
Our pictures show woman abuser Dylan Fogarty flashing a toothy grin as he walked free from Wheatfield Prison in Dublin on Friday
Today at 15:22
A violent thug who bit his pregnant partner in the face and also bit a stranger in the neck in a separate ‘act of savagery’ is now back on the streets.
Our pictures show woman abuser Dylan Fogarty flashing a toothy grin as he walked free from Wheatfield Prison in Dublin on Friday where he served two years of his three-year sentence.
Fogarty’s release came after the Court of Appeal declined last year to extend the amount of time the 28-year-old would spend behind bars.
The court heard how Fogarty was initially sentenced to three years in prison after he was convicted of a range of offences including assault after biting his pregnant partner in the face during a campaign of domestic violence.
Fogarty had admitted assaulting her at his home on a date in April 2019, criminal damage at the woman’s home in June 2019, and harassing her at various locations on dates between April and November 2019.
The three-year sentence also covered a separate offence of assault causing harm to a man he had never met before at Dame Street, Dublin on October 15, 2017.
He also bit this man in the neck the court heard.
During last year’s proceedings, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court three years had been too lenient a term for the offences and that closer to five years would have been more appropriate.
Grainne O’Neill BL, for the DPP, said the trial judge had failed to give sufficient weight to aggravating factors, while placing too much emphasis on mitigation
After playing a tape of a phone call to the court in which Fogarty can be heard shouting to his then partner, “I will kill ye, I will f**king kill ye”, Ms O’Neill said: “This is one of those instances where the headline sentence should have been at or very close to five years.
She said that between April 2019 and November 2019, Fogarty had been involved in a “toxic relationship” with his former partner and they frequently rowed over money.
Fogarty, counsel said, had been violent towards the woman during that time, and had been a controlling influence over her and had tried to isolate her from friends and family.
One on occasion, when she was pregnant with Fogarty’s child, the respondent threw an object which hit her in the stomach before pinning her against a wall.
Although Ms O’Neill acknowledged that Fogarty had admitted the offences, she said the value of an early guilty plea must be placed in context against the evidence, which she said had been “strong” and included testimony from independent witnesses and CCTV footage.
In relation to Fogarty’s expression of remorse, Ms O’Neill noted that “in both cases there was an insinuation” that the victims had in some way contributed towards the respondent’s offending.
She said any apology “tempered by the way the injured party is characterised” was reduced in value.
In relation to Fogarty’s biting attack on a complete stranger, the court heard, the male victim was on his way home in the early hours of the morning when he saw a man arguing with another person.
He said the next thing he recalled was being on the ground and shouting at a man to get off his neck. The victim had been punched and bitten with a piece of flesh missing from his neck.
The man initially thought it was a superficial wound but later attended for medical attention where he was treated for a fractured nose and referred to a plastic surgeon.
Fogarty was identified as the assailant from CCTV footage of the incident.
Gda Mitchell agreed with Mr Nolan, defending, that the victim had bumped off Fogarty’s companion in a minor way and Fogarty reacted in an unacceptable manner.
The garda agreed alcohol was a significant factor.
Emmet Nolan BL, for Fogarty, argued to the Court of Appeal that although his client had been convicted of very serious offences, it not a case there had been “an error in principle in the sentence”.
He said the term imposed by Judge Nolan had offered his client “some light at the end of the tunnel” for rehabilitation.
Fogarty, counsel said, had struggled with drug addiction since he was 14 but was trying to address these issues via counselling.
Mr Nolan said the deprivation of liberty for three years for a man of his client’s age was a “severe penalty”, adding: “We no longer lock people up and throw away the key.”
The Court of Appeal found that the trial judge Martin Nolan had erred by not setting a high enough headline sentence.
Quashing the original sentence, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, sitting with Court President Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Brian Murray handed down a term of four years and six months, with the last 18 months suspended upon the respondent agreeing to enter a bond to keep the peace and remain drug free.
The structure of the new sentence meant that Fogarty was not required to serve any additional time behind bars.
A condition of Fogarty’s sentence requires that he have no contact with his former partner for a period of ten years.