Brave mum who was battered by savage ex-soldier speaks out

Jessica Bowes
Jessica Bowes

SHOCKING CCTV footage obtained by the Sunday World reveals the full extent of the terrifying attack carried out by a former soldier on his ex-girlfriend and mother of two of his children as she pleaded for her life.

During a ‘merciless’ beating carried out by ‘coked-up’ former soldier Jonathan McSherry, he can be seen punching Jessica Bowes to the ground, kicking her at least four times and then dragging her along the ground and continuing to punch her.

Readers should be warned the footage is extremely disturbing but it reveals in graphic detail the horror suffered by Jessica during the late-night assault in December of last year.

The disgusting attack outside Jessica’s Clondalkin, Dublin, home saw the mum-of-three lose consciousness twice as McSherry inflicted multiple fractures to her eye sockets, face and skull.

Heart-breaking pictures taken of Jessica after she was rushed to hospital for treatment show how her eyes were bruised almost completely shut, while another reveals a horrific and jagged cut over her left eye.

The imprint of a shoe was left on her face and there were boot marks under her chin. 

Jonathan McSherry and Jessica Bowes

She also had to have a metal plate inserted into her face. 

When contacted yesterday, courageous victim Jessica – whose brave decision to give evidence against thug McSherry led to him being charged – revealed that even now she’s is not yet ready to speak of the horrific attack.

“I don’t want to say anything that could affect his sentencing – but I will say there needs to be far more support for victims of domestic violence in this country.

“People do need to speak out and I will after he is sentenced,” she told us.

“I’m lucky I had CCTV on the house, otherwise I don’t know what would have happened with the investigation.”

Appearing before Dublin Circuit Court on Friday, McSherry was warned by Judge Melanie Greally that she fully intends to jail him over the assault.

The court heard how Jessica Bowes begged for her life during the “merciless” attack. 

And Judge Greally said that after his “brutal acts of violence”, McSherry left his victim unconscious and in “a very perilous position”.

McSherry (34), of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Grange View Way, Clondalkin on December 20, 2015.

The court heard how Jessica lost consciousness after the first punch and then a second time during the attack. 

She said she thought she was going to die. 

The assault left her with permanent scarring and nerve damage. 

In a victim impact report, the mother of three said her lips wouldn’t close together fully and in a cold environment her top lip didn’t move, making her face look “deformed”.

Her memory was impaired and she relied on her 10-year-old daughter to remind her of the younger children’s birthdays. 

Ms Bowes said she was now overprotective of her children and in a constant state of anxiety. 

She had nightmares about McSherry and became paralysed with fear and “trapped in a nightmare”.

When she wakes up from these nightmares, she cries her eyes out. 

Judge Greally remanded McSherry on continuing bail until December 21 so he can continue his treatment at the Coolmine residential drug treatment programme. 

She said that a prison sentence was inevitable given the severity of the assault and of the injuries.

Garda Stephen Kelly told the court that there was a barring order placed against McSherry the previous January. 

On the night of the attack, the victim and two friends were getting a lift to her home from a nightclub.

McSherry was waiting at the house and jumped on the car, smashing its front window with his fists. 

He then began his attack, punching the victim up to eight times. 

At one point, when she regained consciousness, she told him, “you’re going to kill me” but he kept punching her in the head. 

McSherry was arrested on the night and remanded in custody until the following April, when he was granted bail on condition he take part in the drug treatment programme.

Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said her client had a history of depression and drug addiction. She said since the assault he had genuinely turned his life around. 

Counsel said McSherry, who has two young children with the victim, had no words to express his remorse for his actions.

Ms Smith told the court that her client had consumed a huge amount of alcohol and cocaine and did not remember carrying out the assault.

She said as a result of his remand in custody, he had lost his car sales business. 

He had also not seen his children since the attack. 

Counsel said that McSherry had a difficult childhood. 

His father was an alcoholic and there were a number of violent beatings in the home including a stabbing incident involving his mother.

After leaving school at 15, McSherry qualified as a plasterer before serving in the army for seven years. 

She said when he was 27, McSherry saw a woman kill herself by jumping off a bridge on the Naas Road. He got counselling but then later tried to kill himself on two occasions.

He then began abusing drugs and an addiction spiralled, counsel said.