Man avoids jail for sustained violent attack on girlfriend
A Wicklow man who beat his girlfriend for more than an hour and bit her on the face after they had an argument has been given a suspended sentence.
Judge Melanie Greally said Ian Sheridan (32) carried out a very serious assault involving considerable violence, but a "custodial sentence is not necessitated".
She said Sheridan had dealt with his "demons", including addressing his drink and drug problems.
The judge noted he had raised €1,600 in compensation for his former partner, Patricia Rodriguez, but she did not want to accept it. The money would instead be donated to the women's refuge Ms Rodriguez attended after the assault.
Judge Greally imposed a three-year sentence, which she suspended for three years on condition that Sheridan keeps the peace and engages with the restorative justice programme.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that, after the assault, Ms Rodriguez sneaked out of the house when Sheridan eventually fell asleep.
She never returned and spent some time in a refuge.
The couple had moved in together the month before.
Sheridan, of New Brighton Terrace, Parnell Road, Bray, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm on February 21, 2015.
Gda Paul Newport told the court that Ms Rodriguez and Sheridan had an argument at their home that evening.
She left to get some fresh air and coffee before returning home. Sheridan arrived back an hour-and-a-half later.
Ms Rodriguez later told gardai she could smell alcohol from Sheridan and assumed he had been drinking.
Sheridan then grabbed her hair, punched her around her eye and bit her twice around her jaw. He also punched her all over her body. The victim said the violence lasted an hour or two and he wouldn't stop when she asked him to.
Sheridan has previous convictions for theft, public order and road traffic offences. A probation report concluded he was at a low risk of re-offending.