Man who attacked ex-partner with brush handle avoids jail
A Dublin man who chased a former partner into a community centre with a broken brush handle and attacked her in front of children has received a fully-suspended sentence.
Liam Byrne (37) pulled a knife from a kitchen drawer and threatened to kill the woman after he had invited her to his home.
Garda Louise Moran said the woman managed to escape when Byrne's mother intervened, but he snapped a brush handle and chased her down the road.
The woman later told gardai that Byrne had made stabbing motions at her with the brush.
She ran into a nearby community centre changing room, where Byrne hit her in front of children and threatened to kill her. He left when his mother again arrived on the scene.
Byrne, of Mariners Port, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and threats to kill at the same location last May 16.
His 32 previous convictions include road traffic matters, drugs offences and attempted robbery.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to 21 months' imprisonment, but suspended the entire sentence for a period of 21 months provided he keep the peace, be of good behaviour and engage with probation services.
Gda Moran told Diana Stuart, prosecuting, that the woman was too embarrassed to seek medical treatment for her injuries, which included extensive bruising and lumps on her head.
She declined to make a victim impact statement.
The woman handed a letter to the court, in which she said that she did not want Byrne to receive a prison sentence and that he was getting on well with their daughter.
Gda Moran agreed with Kenneth Kerins, defending, that the woman had been worried about Byrne's mental health and had communicated this with his mother.
She further agreed that his family had attempted to hospitalise him the day before the incident but he refused to go.
Mr Kerins submitted to Judge Nolan that his client had had a difficult upbringing and that his father had been murdered.
Judge Nolan told Byrne that the woman "has kept you out of prison" and said that should he interfere with her or threaten her, then he will serve the 21-month sentence in prison.