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Wednesday 20 November 2019

'I live it every night' - mum's agony as ex escapes jail for attack

Lisa Power was attacked by ex-partner Eddie Farnan
Lisa Power was attacked by ex-partner Eddie Farnan

A victim of domestic violence has condemned the legal system after her attacker was given a suspended sentence.

Lisa Power was viciously assaulted in front of her toddler in west Dublin in June 2017 by her then boyfriend, Eddie Farnan.

She was forced to run for her life after he dragged her by the hair and swung her around, threw her across a room and began choking her as her toddler cried out for her.

When gardai arrived at the house they found Farnan asleep on a couch. He refused to get up and verbally abused officers, telling them: "This isn't even the start. She will see what I will do, f**king c**t."

Ms Power said Farnan avoided a prison sentence at Dublin Circuit Court, where he admitted assault and making threats to kill. "I don't think it's fair on women or children. There are men taking advantage of vulnerable women," the brave mum said in an interview over the weekend.

"To have it go on for three years and that to be the verdict... I think the judge did her job, the guard did his job, it's just the laws and the system.

"There's not many women in domestic violence who come forward and take it the whole way to court.

Haunt

"I done it on behalf of saving my life, but not just mine, my daughter's as well - for her to have an understanding that it's not right for a man to do this to any woman under any circumstances, or any child for that matter," she told the Sunday World.

Ms Power said the events of that morning at the house in Swiftbrook, Tallaght, continued to haunt her. "I brought it the whole way through court and, from the first day I wrote my statement, I live it every night - every time I close my eyes I go through that morning again," she said.

Ms Power eventually managed to grab her daughter and run from the house to a neighbour, who called gardai.

"I remember picking her up and just the only thing that came to me was, 'Run - if he kills you, what's he going to do to her?' I've lived with that image of my baby girl calling out for her mother as she was being strangled downstairs.

"That has lived with me, that has punished me. I felt like I was a bad parent, that I didn't protect her enough, that she was in that position in the first place," she added.

Ms Power suffered panic attacks that led her to shutting herself off from the world in the aftermath of the brutal assault.

Sentencing Farnan on Friday, Judge Karen O'Connor said she thought "long and hard" about jailing him. However, she accepted that he had made significant efforts at rehabilitating himself and had no history of violence before this assault.

She imposed a sentence of two years and nine months and suspended it entirely on a number of conditions.

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