Man is jailed for beating up his girlfriend so badly that she needed surgery
A Dublin man has been jailed for three years after he beat his girlfriend so badly that she needed surgery to insert plates and bolts to repair damage to her leg.
Stephen Walsh (39), of Portland Close, Portland Row, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Maria Sunner at their home in Poplar Row, Ballybough, on November 24, 2013.
He has 32 previous convictions including robbery, handling stolen goods and breeching a barring order taken out by the victim.
Judge Martin Nolan said the attack involved punching, pulling, dragging, kicking and stamping on Ms Sunner.
He said her injuries were serious and she needed surgical intervention to put plates and bolts into her knee.
Judge Nolan backdated the three-year jail term to when Walsh first went into custody last June.
Gda Declan Crushell told Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting, that a row began between Walsh and Ms Sunner when he tried to leave their home with a box she said had money in it that she was saving for the children's Christmas.
She was trying to get the box off him when he punched her and knocked her back against the front door.
He then grabbed her hair and dragged her into the sitting room where she said he was "kicking, booting and boxing me".
She was begging him to stop as her niece was standing nearby holding the couple's daughter in her arms. Walsh left, but Ms Sunner followed him in an attempt to get the money back.
She told gardai he picked her up by the hips and slammed her into the ground, "like you would see in wrestling", before he continued to kick her.
A neighbour came to her assistance and the assault ended.
Ms Sunner was taken to hospital where she underwent surgery.
Walsh was arrested and later suggested there was "an element of self-defence" during what he claimed was a disagreement. He later claimed Ms Sunner had slipped and fallen.
Anne Marie Lawlor, defending, told Judge Nolan that although her client was not using it as an excuse, he was abusing crack cocaine to "an extraordinary extent".
He said the amount of stress he caused her and his children is something he will have to learn to live with every day.
"He has put his head down and done whatever he needed to in terms of tackling his rehabilitation," counsel said.