herald

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Man who threatened to slit throats of his partner and baby sent to jail

Patrick Stokes punched Ms Kavanagh in the ribs before threatening to slit her throat and the throat of their son. (stock photo)
Patrick Stokes punched Ms Kavanagh in the ribs before threatening to slit her throat and the throat of their son. (stock photo)

A man who threatened to kill his partner, their six-month-old son and himself has been jailed for five years.

Patrick Stokes (26) threatened to rape Louise Kavanagh if she left him, before telling her he was going to slit her throat.

"You are going to die tonight," he told her while he held her throat with both his hands.

He also threatened to slit their son's throat, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.

Stokes, previously of Booterstown Halting Site, admitted setting fire to their home at the site on February 2 last year after Ms Kavanagh said she was leaving him. He also admitted assaulting Ms Kavanagh, causing her harm, threatening to kill or cause her serious harm and falsely imprisoning her at the Clayton Hotel, Sandyford, on March 11, 2017.

Det Gda Colm Gregan told the court that Stokes and Ms Kavanagh split up after the fire, but reunited some weeks later and were staying at the hotel because they were homeless.

However, Stokes became aggressive again and attacked Ms Kavanagh in their hotel room. He got on top of her and held her throat with both hands until she struggled to breathe.

Ms Kavanagh managed to get away and made her way to the door. As she did so, Stokes grabbed their son with one hand while holding a knife in the other. He eventuallydropped the baby on to the bed.

Stokes punched Ms Kavanagh in the ribs and knocked her on to the bed before threatening to slit her throat and the throat of their son.

Survive

He then threatened her with a broken wine bottle and told her he would kill her.

Det Gda Gregan said Stokes then threatened to rape her, telling her: "You're going to die tonight."

At that point, Ms Kavanagh stopped struggling and Stokes got off her. As she grabbed her son, Stokes broke down in tears.

"She promised not to leave him," said Peter Le Vert, prosecuting. "She was saying it to survive."

The couple later attended a meeting with their social worker, who had heard some of the attack on Stokes' phone.

She was concerned for the safety of Ms Kavanagh, who was left with a black eye, and ultimately assisted her in leaving Stokes.

In a victim impact report read to the court, Ms Kavanagh described the attack as "terrifying" and "horrendous".

She said she was afraid of being tracked down by Stokes, and that without him she and her son were "good".

Judge Martin Nolan said Stokes had a "violent background" and became addicted to alcohol and drugs "to deal with matters".

He said Stokes lost control on the night and said the assault was very serious. He said the threats Stokes made were believable.

"I've no doubt he regrets what he did, but the harm was done. I believe he wants to reform, but nobody knows if he can."

Addressing Stokes, the judge said: "Thankfully, your child wasn't seriously injured but you terrified Ms Kavanagh.

"She was right to be terrified. With drink and drugs you lose control."

Lisa Daly, defending, said Stokes accepted the "serious nature of the offence" and did not want to minimise his behaviour.

"He says he has ruined his life and lost his family," she said.

The court was told Stokes had convictions for assault, hijacking, violent behaviour in a garda station, possession of knives and robbery.