Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Declan Brennan

A man has been jailed for two years for assaulting his infant child and his ex-partner in two separate violent incidents.

The earlier incident took place at the woman’s home in Skerries, north Dublin on September 18th, 2019 when the man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the child, went to the home of the mother of their child.

The court heard that he struck her repeatedly around the head while she was still holding the three-month-old baby. At one stage he pushed the woman up against a wall and the child’s head was knocked against the wall.

The man took the child from the woman and walked away, but the woman followed and managed the get the baby back.

Shop for milk

The baby was vomiting repeatedly and was still vomiting when gardaí arrived a short time later, Gerardine Small BL prosecuting told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The court heard that the later incident took place on June 12th, 2020 when the defendant and the woman were in his home in Rush, north Dublin and began arguing over who would go to the shop to get milk for the baby.

The man, who had taken tablets, began hitting the woman with his closed fists and dragging her back when she tried to get away from him by leaving the house.

A telephone company technician who was working next door heard screaming and knocked on the door. When the accused answered the door the woman escaped and the technician walked off.

Threats

The accused then picked up a metal bar and threatened the technician. The woman later told gardaí that she was afraid for her life in the house and that after she escaped, she feared for her baby’s safety.

Gardaí arrived and tried to talk the accused man down but the man repeatedly refused to come out or to hand over the baby. He put the child up to a window when gardaí asked to see if the child was safe, but later when gardaí began smashing in the front door the man held the child to the back of the door.

He was charged with child cruelty, an offence contrary to the Children Act 2001 and later pleaded guilty to this and to assault causing harm to the woman.

Earlier assault

He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the child on the earlier occasion.

Judge Martin Nolan said he was satisfied that the man never intended to harm the child but that he behaved with recklessness in relation to her. He said that his actions were nonetheless “pretty inexcusable”.

He said he beat his former partner on two occasions and “he beat her quite badly”. He noted that the accused has pleaded guilty, is genuinely remorseful and comes from a good family who have a place for him when he emerges from prison.

He sentenced him to two years imprisonment, which he backdated to the date he first went into custody following his arrest in June 2020.

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