Thug who repeatedly kicked a woman in the face and head will only serve 18 months

George Croitoru
George Croitoru

A man who dragged a woman to the ground and repeatedly kicked her in the face and head has been given a three and a half year sentence with the final two years suspended.

George Croitoru (29) of St John the Baptist Church, Long Mile Road, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Dawn Critchlow-Burke on the North Circular Road, Dublin city on March 9, 2014.

The victim’s injuries included a perforated ear drum, a fractured nose, two black eyes and extensive bruising.

Judge Martin Nolan said the assault was persistent, vicious and prolonged. He said that it seemed that Croitoru “lost complete control” while kicking and beating Ms Burke.

Dawn Critchlow-Burke posted this shocking image on Facebook

Croitoru, who has no previous convictions, made an offer of €1,000 as a token of his remorse and this was accepted by the victim.

Garda Conor Mackin told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that at around 10pm Ms Burke was walking home after visiting a friend and she passed Croitoru.

The Romanian national asked her for a cigarette and she said offered him the end of the one she was smoking. He initially told her to ‘fuck off’ but then apologised and took her up on the offer.

He asked her to come back to a friend’s but she refused. He moved closer to her and she pushed him away.

She said he was flirting with her for the next five minutes and she kept pushing him away. He got very close to her face and she grabbed him by the throat and told him to fuck off.

He then grabbed her hand and punched her in the mouth. She ended up on the ground and he kicked her a few times.

She got back up and tried to push him away but he pulled her by the hair to the ground again and started kicking her again.

The victim swung out at the man using the broken handle of a china cup that had fallen from her bag and smashed on the ground. She cut him and he reacted by grabbing her throat and pushing over her a railing.

He then stopped and walked away but came charging back and grabbed her hair again. He started kicking her to her face and head.

Holding her hair he told her “You’re coming with me”. The woman was shouting for passers-by to call gardaí.

Croitoru finally stopped and left the woman, taking her mobile phone with him.

A member of the public called the gardai and a passing driver followed Croitoru and pointed him out to gardaí.

Tom Neville BL, defending, said his client was drunk that evening. He said his lack of other convictions suggested that this attack was not deeply ingrained behaviour.

He said he had a consistent work record and wished to go back to college to study computer programming.

“This assault is so serious that the defendant must spend time in custody,” said Judge Nolan on handing down the sentence.