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Man scarred ex-partner in vicious attack

A man has been found guilty of assaulting his former partner in an attack which has left her permanently and severely disfigured.

The victim was walking her eight-year-old son to school when Fergal McNulty (42) came up behind her and punched her twice in the face, cutting her from ear to nose.

McNulty of Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, and Cois Cualann, Ballybrack had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and assault causing serious harm to Una Webb on St Anne's Road, Drumcondra on September 3, 2009.



Verdict

After two days of evidence, the jury of six men and six women took three hours to return majority verdicts of guilty on both charges.

During the trial the woman, who is in her thirties, sobbed as she described in court how the attack seemed to go on forever.

She said she was walking on St Anne's Road at around 8.30am when she felt the presence of someone behind her.

She said she looked over her shoulder and saw the accused, whom she knew from a five-year relationship that ended around 2000.

She told Mr Baker: "I felt blows to my face. It was hot. I thought I'm after getting punched. It just seemed to go on forever.

"I pushed my son away. My main concern was the safety of my son.

"I saw it was him and of course I was concerned for the safety of my son."

She said she ran away as fast as she could, dragging her child with her.

She then noticed her top was wet and covered with blood.

She said she looked back at one point and said her attacker was on the opposite side of the road looking at her.

She said she thought he was going to come back.

The court heard she met two people at the end of the road and collapsed.

An ambulance was called and she was brought to the Mater hospital where she underwent surgery.

Dylan Murray, a consultant in facial surgery at the Mater Hospital said he would categorise Ms Webb's scarring as severe and permanent and said it she is left with a serious disfigurement.

He said in his opinion the cuts were caused by a sharp object and that this would be obvious to others.



Claims

The man had claimed that he was at a house at least five miles away from the scene of the attack at the time it took place.

He told the court that he was at the home of Jane Kane at Cois Cualann, Ballybrack.

Ms Kane, who is the aunt of the man's girlfriend, Michelle Jenkins, gave evidence that she saw McNulty in bed at around that time.

Judge Patrick McCartan thanked the jury for their service.

He remanded McNulty in custody to appear before him on Monday for sentencing.

hnews@herald.ie