Car attack frenzy left mum and tot covered in debris
A YOUNG mother and her terrified toddler were showered with broken glass when a drunk carried out a crazed attack on their car, smashing the windscreen with an advertising sign.
Mathew Clarke (50) attacked the car in a frenzy for no apparent reason when the woman parked outside a north Dublin shopping centre while her boyfriend went to a chipper.
The frightened victim and her two-year-old daughter watched as Clarke "came out of nowhere", picked up a Western Union sign and smashed in the windscreen before kicking the car.
He was given a six-month suspended sentence and convicted of assaulting the woman and her child as well as causing criminal damage to the car.
Dublin District Court heard Clarke had felt "threatened" by the way the woman was parking when he carried out the unprovoked attack.
The accused, with an address at Cedar House, Marlboro Place, had taken a combination of alcohol and painkiller medication on the day of the incident at Phibsboro Shopping Centre on October 5, 2009.
A total of €1,500 worth of damage was caused to the car.
The accused's solicitor said the victim had been in the right and the accused's view of what was happening was "totally different and unreal" because of the medication and alcohol.
Clarke's lawyer said what the defendant did was "extremely wrong, very threatening and atrocious".
He "suffered from depression somewhat" and had been living in a hostel at the time.
The judge imposed the six-month suspended sentence on the criminal damage charge, binding the accused to the peace for two years.
Clarke was given concurrent one-month sentences for the assaults and fined €300 for causing a breach of the peace.