Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
A MAN who violently beat his girlfriend with a belt after accusing her of being with another man has been jailed for two years.
The 27-year-old, who can’t be named to protect the identity of his victim and their young child, pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman causing her harm on December 16, 2018.
During a sentencing hearing, Garda Mark Mannix told Limerick Circuit Court the incident occurred at a house in Newcastle West where the couple were living at the time.
He said the victim was in bed sick when the defendant became very angry and began making accusations relating to another man.
He then began hitting her with the belt from his jeans and when she fled to the sitting room of the house he hit her with a fireside shovel in front of their young child.
The woman was also struck with a vacuum cleaner and subjected to severe verbal abuse during the two-hour ordeal.
Before imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the pair had been in a volatile relationship for some time before the incident and he said the sense of fear was “still palpable” in a victim impact statement which was prepared by the woman.
He said it was a serious aggravating factor that the assaults were witnessed by the couple’s young child.
The judge accepted that the defendant’s cocaine addiction was a factor in his paranoia and that he now understands the seriousness of his actions.
However, he said he bears a high level of culpability and that the degree of violence shown has “no place in a civilised society.”
Judge O’Donnell said what happened was at the “high end” of the scale and that a custodial had to be imposed.
He imposed a two and-a-half year sentence, which he reduced to two years to take into account the time the defendant spent on remand after he was first charged.