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violent assault Man who punched, kicked and bit partner in front of her children jailed for 18 months

David Dwyer pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, to assaulting the woman causing her harm

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A man who subjected his partner to a violent assault in front of her children after she decided to end their relationship has been jailed for 18 months.

David Dwyer (37) bit his partner’s finger when she was trying to close a window having locked him out of her home. She eventually let Dwyer back into the house after he continued to be abusive.

She unlocked the door and he grabbed her and threw her out onto the path in front of the house. She got up and went back in and told him to leave.

The woman later told gardaí that it was at this point that Dwyer “lost the head”.

He punched her multiple times in the head and face leaving her with a bump to the head and bloodied nose. He continued to kick her and hit her while she tried to get away.

Inspector Oliver Woods told Kate Egan BL, prosecuting, that he had been to the woman’s house an hour before Dwyer attacked her after he was alerted to a domestic incident there.

On arrival he could hear raised voices. The woman answered the door but she insisted that Dwyer was not in the house. It later transpired that he was hiding in a child’s wardrobe when the inspector came into the property.

Insp Woods said the woman’s two children, aged 15 and 10 years old, where there at the time. He spent 40 minutes with them before he left after advising that he would call back again.

He told Ms Egan that 15 minutes later he got the call to come back to the woman’s home. When he arrived Dwyer was still attacking the woman.

Gardaí tried to arrest him but he resisted, insulted the gardaí and spat at them. Officers eventually handcuffed Dwyer but they had to put a spit hood on him to protect themselves against Covid-19.

Insp Woods said the woman was left with scrapes and cuts to her arm, a bump to her head and a busted nose but nothing was broken. She didn’t get medical attention.

Dwyer was on bail for four other offences at the time of his arrest including criminal damage, trespass and drink driving. The woman didn’t complete a victim impact statement for the case.

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Dwyer of Primrose Grove, Darndale, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, to assaulting the woman causing her harm and failing to comply with direction given by Inspector Woods at Edenmore, Raheny on May 2, 2020.

Dwyer’s 24 previous convictions include an 18-month jail term handed down last February after he threw two knives at gardaí who were intervening when Dwyer held a knife to the same woman’s neck in February 2018.

Another conviction relates to an arson of another former partner’s home after he threw a petrol bomb into his partner's flat following a dispute with the landlord over the condition of the flat.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Dwyer to five years in prison with the final two years suspended in November 2012 for that arson attack which occurred in May 2011.

Today, Judge Melanie Greally described the attack on Dwyer’s former partner as “a violent incident”.

She acknowledged that the couple had what was described as a “volatile relationship” and Dwyer was drunk, but said this was no excuse for subjecting the woman to the assault particularly in the presence of her children.

Judge Greally accepted that Dwyer has been doing well since his remand in custody and has begun to address his addiction. She further accepted that he had written a letter expressing his remorse for his actions and “his desire to put this type of behaviour behind him”.

She sentenced Dwyer to 18 months in prison which she backdated to last May 4, when he was remanded in custody having pleaded guilty to the assault charge.

Jennifer Jackson BL, defending, said that her client has had “his demons and difficulties with drugs in the past”. He had managed to rehabilitate, but his father’s death three years ago “re-ignited his difficulties with alcohol and drugs” which then spiralled out of control and let to his involvement in criminality.

Counsel said her client has “very little recollection of the night” and asked the court to accept that it happened in the middle of a lockdown when “life was not normal”.

“Tensions were very high for everyone. All the stars were aligned for the terrible event that occurred that night,” Ms Jackson said.

She handed in a letter into court which she said outlined Dywer’s remorse and how he is deeply ashamed of his behaviour. She said he is on a list for residential treatment and has “a lot of hope for the future”.

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