NewsCrime Desk

Victim of horror attack slams Irish justice system over sentence for 'monster'

Robert Maguire
Robert Maguire

A MUM-of-six falsely imprisoned, kicked in the genitals and beaten unconscious by her ex in front of her screaming children has begged the DPP to appeal a two-year sentence handed down to the brute who attacked her.

In a heartbreaking interview, the young mum pleaded for the sentence, handed down by Mr Justice Paul Butler to thug Robert Maguire on Thursday, to be immediately appealed, saying: “He [Maguire] is a monster who should spend at least 10 years behind bars.”

Robert Maguire (35), from Lucan in Dublin, was given a two-year sentence for “ferociously” beating his ex-partner after he had found out she was in a new relationship. 

He threatened to kill her before kicking her in the genitals and beating her into unconsciousness as her children screamed at the bedroom door.

The sentence has come under fire from anti-domestic violence campaigners. 

The Sunday World can also reveal today that the young mum believes she is suffering a “life sentence” - unlike Maguire who, the court heard, is successfully rebuilding his life.

“I think he should have got what he deserves – the full sentence available and at the very minimum 10 years and up to 20,” Maguire’s victim sobbed.

“The effect this has had on me... I can’t even close a door. The thought of being locked in a room brings the whole thing back. I’m scared out of my life and if you knew me before, I’m not even a quarter of that person now.

“My kids deserved so much better than that – to have to see their mother go through that.

“To me, I’m after going through five years of hell, of torture. My whole family has gone through five years of hell.

“My kids had to be taken out of their home and moved in with their nanny to help me get over what happened. Every day I feel I let them down.

“And after that sentence I feel I let them down all over again. I feel like they don’t deserve to know a parent like that – they deserve so much better.

“Because they are so much better, but that’s their father.

“And it’s like I let him just, I let him just destroy me and I can’t believe that.

“I would never tell any victim not to speak out after something like this happens to them. But what I would say to them is don’t expect justice – I didn’t get anything like justice in that court.”

Details of the shocking attack and the subsequent decision by Mr Justice Butler to jail convicted robber Maguire for just two years led to widespread public anger at its perceived leniency this week.

The court heard how the 30-year-old woman woke up in her bed to find her 34-year-old ex-boyfriend standing over her and spitting on her.

He then threatened to kill her before beating her into unconsciousness as her children screamed at the bedroom door.

The mum, who says she believed she was going to die the night of the attack on January 14 2012, was asleep in her bed when she received a “bang” to her face and saw Maguire standing over her spitting and shouting.

He hit her and pushed her back down on the bed when she tried to get up. He then kicked her in the side.

At this stage, the woman’s baby, who was in a cot in the room, started crying and her older children were at the bedroom door screaming. 

The terrified mum then realised Maguire had locked the bedroom door.

He wouldn’t let her go to the baby. Instead, he picked the baby up from the cot, opened the door and gave the baby to her eldest son.

At this stage, the petrified mother was screaming for help or for someone to call the Gardaí, but Maguire locked the bedroom door again and told her he was going to kill her “stone dead”.

He then started kicking her again until she went unconscious.

The court heard Maguire was motivated by jealousy over the fact he had found his former girlfriend was in a new relationship.

The mum of six said one of the hardest things for her to accept is that her then nine-year-old son witnessed what happened that night and also found her “in that state afterwards”.

“It’s had such an effect on him and such an effect on me,” she sobbed.

“All I wanted was justice, but as soon as they mentioned community service I just thought to myself ‘what is the point?’

“What is the point of me sitting here? What is the point of having gone through all of this?

“Why would I even have involved the Gardaí just for this to have been passed off and dismissed? He broke into my house. 

“I thought I was going to die – I thought this was it.

“In court they said I woke up with a bang to the face, it wasn’t a bang, it was a kick.

“He was literally standing over me kicking and punching.

“I ended up in Hospital because he did so much damage to me down there.

“And it’s taken me so much work and counselling to even be able to say this much, because it is still so fresh in my mind.”

On Thursday Mr Justice Butler said he had considered an appeal by Maguire’s legal team to deal with sentencing by way of community service but, he said, he had decided Maguire’s offending required nothing short of a jail sentence.

Passing sentence he imposed a four-year sentence on the charge of assault causing harm and a four-year sentence for false imprisonment ordering that both will run concurrently or at the same time.

He then suspended the final two years, meaning Maguire, once automatic remission of 25 per cent is applied, will walk free from jail in just 18 months.

Under the Non-Fatal Offences Act, the offence of assault causing harm can carry a sentence of up to five years imprisonment while the offence of false imprisonment allows for a jail sentence up to and including life.

Describing her reaction to the sentence, Maguire’s victim says she feels utterly and completely betrayed.

“I just feel so angry about the whole thing,” she said. “I don’t feel a bit of relief… because I know if this stands he’s going to be back out walking the streets in just 18 months.

“He was very violent towards me before ever that night happened. I can’t actually believe the judge would consider community service in my case.

“And then after saying that he [Maguire] did deserve jail he handed down that light a sentence.

“I don’t think he [the judge] has any idea what an attack like that actually does to a person. I’m pretty sure if the judge was standing there and it was his daughter or his sister then he would have a very different attitude to this case.”