Kids used toys to fight off father during Limerick incident

Hugh Carson was jailed for two and-a-half years

David Hurley


David Hurley


Kids used toys to fight off father during Limerick incident

Hugh Carson was jailed for two and-a-half years

THREE young children used their toys to try and save their heavily pregnant mother as she was being attacked by their father, a court has heard.

The woman’s now ex-partner – Hugh Carson, aged 41, – has been jailed for two and-a-half years after he admitted assaulting her at her home in Dooradoyle on March 6, 2016.

Garda Donna Ryan told Limerick Circuit Court gardai were alerted to the incident at around 5pm after the 34-year-old victim contacted them.

She said the accused man, who was the subject of a Protection Order at the time, had been in contact with the woman earlier in the day in relation to their children and that he arrived at the house without warning.

Garda Ryan said the defendant broke a panel of glass in a rear door to get inside and that when the victim confronted him he grabbed her by the hair and beat her.

After Carson forced the woman onto the ground, he attempted to choke her before kicking and punching her in the stomach – despite being aware she was pregnant with his child.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told how the couple’s three young children were shouting and screaming as they hit their father with toy skittles in an attempt to get him to stop.

While gardai were at the house, the defendant – a self-employed IT consultant – presented himself at Henry Street garda station to make a complaint against his former partner.

However, Garda Ryan said Carson was instead arrested and questioned about the assault.

The court was told the victim and her family left their home in Dooradoyle following the incident and spent several months in Adapt House. She has since returned to Dooradoyle.

Brian McInerney BL said there had been a “tragic and very serious breakdown” in the relationship, which his client now fully accepts is over.

“He harbours no ill will towards her, he deeply regrets his actions,” he said submitting his guilty plea was a significant mitigating factor in the case.

In a Victim Impact Statement the woman, who subsequently gave birth to her fourth child, said she is afraid her former partner will “come after me” and that she suffers panic attacks and doesn't feel safe when alone.

Judge O’Donnell imposed a three and-a-half year prison sentence, suspending the final 12 months.