Father filmed daughter attacking her own mother-in-law as older woman left doctor’s appointment, court hears
– 51m ago
A man and his two daughters have been given suspended sentences after a video recording of the sisters beating two women was shared on social media.
Michael Lawrence (55) filmed his daughter Jessica Maughan (28) attacking her own mother-in-law Mary Maughan (65) as the older woman was leaving a doctor’s appointment.
He also recorded his other daughter Marie Stokes (31) attacking Mary’s daughter, Rosie, while Rosie was sitting in her car waiting to pick up her mother.
The court heard that although the women have physically recovered from the attack, they still suffer psychologically due to the humiliation of the attacks being posted on YouTube and subsequently viewed 3,500 times.
Lawrence and Maughan, both of Rathvilly Drive, Finglas, Dublin, and Stokes of Archers Wood, Clonee, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting causing harm on September 30, 2021.
Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL defending Lawrence, asked the court to accept that her client never posted the recordings to social media and wouldn’t even know how to upload the material.
She said her client is “utterly ashamed” of his behaviour. She said there had been difficulties in Jessica Maughan’s marriage with the victim’s son. The man had walked out on his daughter. They had four children together and she was pregnant with their fifth child at the time.
“He felt his daughter had been dishonoured which led to the irrational madness that came over him,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
Counsel accepted that her client’s decision to record the attack was “strange” and acknowledged that he can be heard clearly encouraging both his daughters to beat the women. She described that behaviour as “depraved”.
She handed in a number of references into court, which described Lawrence as a good neighbour who goes to Mass every day. She said her client had €1,000 to offer the victims but they did not wish to accept the money.
Ms O’Callaghan said “society will look at the video and say my client deserves a custodial sentence” but she asked the court to accept that Lawrence got involved in a misguided way to defend his daughter.
Judge Martin Nolan said the family’s motivation for the attack was “known only to them” before he described the assault as “disgraceful” and “vicious”.
“Obviously they had their reasons but it is not acceptable to behave in this way. The situation was aggravated and the humiliation of the victims greatly increased by the footage going on social media,” Judge Nolan continued.
Having heard evidence last Wednesday he adjourned to this morning for sentence.
Judge Nolan had remanded Marie Stokes and Michael Lawrence in custody pending sentence but allowed Jessica Maughan to remain on bail.
He said today that he had decided not to imprison the father and two daughters before he imposed a two-year suspended sentence on each of them.
“If this is repeated again, or anything like it, it would be brought back to court and you will go to jail – these two ladies didn’t deserve what you did,” Judge Nolan said addressing Lawrence, Maughan and Stokes directly.
He also ordered that they each hand over €1,000 to the investigating garda which he said was to be passed on to a charity in the area where he was stationed after he acknowledged that neither of the victims want to accept the money.