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Dublin man who choked and punched partner in the face during argument is jailed

Anthony O'Hanlon (27) of Walkinstown said he would put his victim ‘in the ground’

Anthony O'Hanlon at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Anthony O'Hanlon

Eimear DoddSunday World

A man who choked his then partner and attempted to bite her ear during an argument has been handed a 14-month prison sentence.

Anthony O'Hanlon (27) of Walkinstown Avenue, Walkinstown pleaded guilty to one count of assault, one count of making threats to kill and one count of theft on March 2, 2020 at Walkinstown Avenue, Dublin.

He has seven previous convictions including for assault and criminal damage.

Imposing sentence on Tuesday at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Orla Crowe said this was a “serious attack” as O'Hanlon had been in a relationship at the time with the victim.

She imposed a prison sentence of one year and eight months on all three counts with the final six months suspended on strict conditions.

Garda Sean Carrick of Crumlin Garda Station gave evidence that an argument started between the defendant and his then partner in her car on the day in question during which he accused her of cheating and demanded to see her phone.

During the argument, O'Hanlon punched the victim in the face and neck, then shouted at her to stop crying.

Gda Carrick agreed with John Gallagher BL, prosecuting, that O'Hanlon then became more angry, grabbing for the victim's phone.

A struggle ensued for the phone, during which O'Hanlon grabbed his ex-partner's hair and started to choke her with his left hand.

O'Hanlon released his grip, but continued to shout abuse, telling the woman he knew where she lived and worked. He then attempted to bite the victim's left ear.

During the row, O'Hanlon also took his ex-partner's bank card, but this was later returned along with her phone.

The woman managed to get out of the car, and went to a nearby shop to hide. Gda Carrick said the victim decided to return to her car so she could get home, but the defendant was outside the shop and continued to accuse her of infidelity.

The victim said she would call the gardai, but the defendant blocked her path and said he would “put her in the ground”. She returned to the shop and asked them to call the gardai.

The victim suffered soft tissue damage to her neck and left cheekbone.

The couple were engaged, but their three-year relationship ended following this incident.

O'Hanlon made no admissions to gardai during interview. He initially opted for a trial, but then pleaded guilty.

Mr Gallagher read the victim impact statement to the court, in which the woman said she had not realised how much danger she was in at the time.

She said O'Hanlon did not deserve her forgiveness and she is slowly trying to put her world back together. She said she would be serving a life sentence as she would carry the memories for the rest of her life.

Anthony O'Hanlon

Oisin Clarke BL, defending, said his client takes responsibility and accepts he assaulted the victim. and took her phone.

The probation report states that his client is at moderate risk of re-offending. Mr Clarke said there are concerns for his client's future in terms of his offending, but these relate to his past behaviours, which he can't change.

He said client is a father of two from a previous relationship, who was a talented footballer, but was seriously injured.

A psychological report was handed into the court on behalf of O'Hanlon. The report noted that O'Hanlon had a difficult relationship with his father and substance abuse issues, which he has taken steps to address.

Judge Crowe noted that no apology had been made directly to the victim, but O'Hanlon had offered an apology in a letter to the court.

She said O'Hanlon has a “significant history” of violence towards intimate partners and this was an aggravating factor in this case.

She said the attack took place in broad daylight in a public place and that “deliberate” threats to kill had been made by O'Hanlon.

Judge Crowe set a headline sentence of three years in relation to each of the three counts.

She said the mitigating factors include the guilty plea and “significant” steps taken by O'Hanlon to address his issues.

Judge Crowe imposed sentences of one years and eight months on each of the three counts, to run concurrently.

She suspended the final six months of the sentence on strict conditions and directed that O'Hanlon should get credit for any time already served on this matter.

The court heard that O’Hanlon started a new relationship in November 2021.

While concerns were raised by the Probation Services, Gda Carrick said he was not aware of any issues in this new relationship.

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