herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Angry partner poured kettle of boiling water on woman's back

Karl Harrison was ashamed of his ‘disgraceful’ assault
Karl Harrison was ashamed of his ‘disgraceful’ assault

A man who poured boiling water over his partner's back in front of their four children has been given a two-year suspended jail sentence.

At the time of the incident, Karl Harrison was living with his girlfriend and their children, aged between seven months and eight years, in a city centre hostel after they were made homeless.

Harrison (27) pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his partner at his address in Townhouse B&B, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, last April 1.

Gda Elise Moran told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that the couple had been drinking vodka on the evening of the day in question and had been arguing.

The family were living in "cramped conditions" in a small room, the court heard.

The victim told Gda Moran that Harrison grabbed a kettle of boiling water during an argument.

Provoked

She said she turned her back as she feared he was going to throw it at her, but instead he poured the boiling contents of the kettle over her back before fleeing the room.

After Harrison was taken into custody, he told gardai that his partner had "verbally provoked" him. He denied pouring the water on her back, but said he threw the kettle into the air and water landed on her.

When shown pictures of his partner's burnt back, he agreed it looked "disgraceful" and he said there was no excuse.

Marie Torrens, defending, said her client was "horrified and ashamed" and "realises he shouldn't have done this". She said the couple were still together and had since been rehoused.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was a "despicable" and "cowardly act", but it did not merit jail.

"I must take into account they are still living together and caring for their children," he said.

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