Ms White received medical treatment for a fractured nose, swollen black eyes and blurred vision.
Abubaker Bello (46) of Fr Peter McVerry Homeless Shelter, Kerdiffstwon House, Naas, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm to Catherina White at Fortunestown Lane in Tallaght on January 20, 2021.
Ms White was walking down the road wearing headphones when Bello approached her on the day in question, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today. He began talking to her, but she could not hear what he was saying due to the headphones.
The court heard that Bello pulled at her handbag and punched her in the face. He then pushed her to the ground, where he punched her in the face repeatedly.
Several people who witnessed the assault stopped their cars and came to the assistance of Ms White. A witness who had crossed the road moments earlier after seeing Bello shouting and pacing also came to her assistance.
Ms White was brought home and later attended Tallaght Hospital, where she received medical treatment for a fractured nose, swollen black eyes and blurred vision.
Garda Sergeant Michael Leahy told Siobhán Ni Chulachain, BL, prosecuting, that gardaí attended the scene and saw a man fitting the attacker's description. When stopped by gardaí, Bello was not cooperative and had to be restrained. He was arrested and brought to Tallaght garda station.
The court heard that when Bello was interviewed, he denied the offence. He was shown CCTV footage, but he did not identify himself. He has 21 previous convictions, two of which are for assault.
Rónán Prendergast BL, defending, told the court that his client said in interview that he could not remember the incident as he had smoked what he thought was cannabis but was, in fact, "spice".
The court heard that Bello is genuinely very sorry for the hurt he has caused Ms White and a letter of apology was handed into court.
Handing down sentence today, Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Bello to three and a half years in prison with the final year suspended under a number of conditions, including that he be of good behaviour and remain under the supervision of the Probation Services for one-year post-release.