herald

Thursday 24 August 2017

Man who beat up ex in front of her kids may escape jail term

Robert Maguire pleaded guilty
Robert Maguire pleaded guilty

A man who "ferociously" beat his ex-girlfriend because she found a new partner may get community service, a judge has indicated.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the woman (30) woke up in her bed to find Robert Maguire (34) standing over her and spitting on her.

He threatened to kill her before kicking and beating her into unconsciousness as her children screamed at the bedroom door.

The woman told the court that both her and her eldest child, who was aged nine at the time, have been left severely traumatised by the attack.

She wrote in her victim impact statement that the "consequences of the assault have had a far-reaching impact".

Society

Yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Butler ordered the Probation Service to assess if Maguire is suitable for community service after Michael O'Higgins, defending, asked if society would be best served by sending the accused to prison.

The judge said it was a "very, very serious assault" and that seeking a community service report should not be seen as an indication of his final intentions.

Maguire, of Colthurst Gardens, Huntington Glen, Lucan in Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and false imprisonment in the woman's Dublin home on January 14, 2012.

Maguire had been in an on-off relationship with the woman for more than 10 years before they broke up for good in late 2011. He was the father of three of her children.

Mr O'Higgins said the motive for the attack was that Maguire had found out the woman was in a new relationship.

He said it was a case of "sexual jealousy".

"It doesn't come within a million miles of justification but might help court to understand why the behaviour occurred," Mr O'Higgins said.

The victim wept as Garda Mairead Scanlon described how the woman was asleep when she received "a bang" to the face and saw Maguire standing over her, spitting and shouting.

He hit her and pushed her back down on the bed when she tried to get up. He then kicked her in the side.

At this stage the woman's baby, in a cot, started crying and her older children were at the bedroom door screaming. The woman realised Maguire had locked the beroom door.

He wouldn't let her go to the baby. Instead, he picked the baby up, opened the door and gave her to the eldest son.

Screams

The woman was screaming for help or for someone to call gardai when Maguire locked the door again and told her he was going to kill her "stone dead". He then started kicking her until she went unconscious.

A neighbour called gardai but Maguire had fled by the time they arrived. The woman was taken to Tallaght Hospital.

She was treated for extensive cuts and bruising. Maguire was later arrested and admitted the assault.

The court heard Maguire has several previous convictions, including one for theft, for which he received 240 hours' community service.

Counsel said Maguire works as a tiler and has a new partner. He said his client was ashamed and embarrassed about his actions and that he entered an early guilty plea.

Maguire was remanded on continuing bail until May 22, when he will impose sentence.

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