Man jailed for violent attack on partner after Swedish House Mafia concert
on 19/12/2012 18:12:01
Aiden O'Hara (aged 31) of Magenta Hall, Santry, Dublin 9, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm to his former partner Donna Dunne and her mother Teresa Dunne on July 7, 2011.
O'Hara initially told gardaí that he "ran amuck" and "punched a lot of things" at his former partner's house in Oak Park Avenue, Santry after an argument, but said he couldn't remember attacking Donna or her mother.
Garda Fergus Burke told the court that Donna Dunne spent nine days in hospital after suffering a complicated arm fracture during the assault, and had to have two metal plates and 18 screws inserted into her arm.
After surgery, she required 54 staples in her arm and she also suffered a nasal fracture.
Her mother, Teresa Dunne, suffered extensive soft tissue injuries to her forehead and bruising.
The court heard that the couple, who have two young children, had been to a concert by Swedish House Mafia at the Phoenix Park on the afternoon of the incident and that O'Hara was "locked" before they got there.
The garda told prosecuting counsel Martina Baxter BL that Donna Dunne left the concert after hassle from the accused which required the intervention of security guards, and went home at about 5pm.
The court heard that O'Hara followed her home and broke into her house. He started breaking windows and several banisters, causing about €1,000 worth of damage.
Donna Dunne told gardaí that her six-year-old son tried to hide under the bed and that her 10-year-old daughter was also present when O'Hara followed them into the room and threw the bed head at her.
He also punched her in the face, kicked her in her stomach and legs when she was on the ground and pushed the bed at her mother, hitting her on the forehead.
O'Hara then left the house but came back a few minutes later looking for his runners.
Donna Dunne said she threw the runners downstairs to him but that he ran up the stairs covered in blood, kicking the banisters as he came. He pushed her mother aside and punched his partner with his clenched fist several times.
They both then tumbled downstairs and she lay unconscious at the bottom of the stairs, where O'Hara began kicking her unmoving body.
O'Hara initially accepted damaging the premises but denied the assault, saying: "I went up to have an argument with my mot; she locked me out so I smashed a window, then all hell broke loose and there were birds jumping on me."
Defence counsel Dean Kelly BL said his client admitted the assaults at an early stage and accepted that it was a "violent and sickening offence" for which he is apologetic and shameful.
The court heard that O'Hara has begun attending AA and has taken every educational opportunity available to him since he was taken into custody the day after the offence.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring said he inflicted an "appalling act of violence" with no regard to the life of his former partner nor to the well-being of his two small children who were present throughout.
"It does not take a rocket scientist to guess the trauma suffered by two young children who watched their father brutally attack their mother to the point of unconsciousness," she said.
She imposed a prison sentence of three years for assault causing harm to Donna Dunne, and of two years for assault causing harm to Teresa Dunne, to run concurrently.
The final six months were suspended on condition that O'Hara keep the peace for two years.
Judge Ring also placed a Protection of Persons Order on his two children, prohibiting him from any behaviour likely to cause them fear, distress or alarm for three years after his release.
O'Hara has 15 previous convictions including assault, endangering traffic by throwing snowballs and possession of a firearm and ammunition.