Man punched seven-month pregnant partner in the face

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

A man who was acquitted of raping his partner has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years for punching her in the face when she was seven months pregnant.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of raping and sexually assaulting the woman following a trial earlier this month.

Before the trial, he pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting the woman, who was seven months pregnant, at an address in Dublin on October 14, 2015.

In a victim impact statement handed up to the court today, the woman said she felt "worthless and powerless" after the assault and that she still had recurring nightmares about it.

The trial heard that the pair were in a toxic relationship, which was marred by substance abuse on both sides.

The man has been in custody since October last year. He has three previous convictions for minor offences but has not been in custody before.

Sentencing the man, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said he had committed "a serious offence involving violence".

"To strike a partner who is pregnant with your child and to hit her in the face twice with your fist is unacceptable by any standards," he said.

He sentenced the man to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment, but suspended the final nine months. He backdated it to when the man first went into custody last October.

Isabel Hayes