Father of five attacked former partner in children’s hospital

By Brion Hoban

A father of five children, who twice attacked his former partner while she was in a children’s hospital with their son, has received a partially suspended sentence.

Christopher Gannon (36) of Ballyfermot Drive, Ballyfermot, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, on October 6, 2018.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 resized

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

While passing sentence on Friday, Justice Patricia Ryan said there were other ways of dealing with concerns about the safety of children and noted that there were numerous punches during the attack.

Ms Justice Ryan said the case was aggravated by the serious injuries sustained by the victim, the assault taking place in a children’s hospital, the accused’s previous conviction for assault, the victim being hit on numerous occasions and the accused assaulting her a second time,

She said the mitigating factors in the case were Gannon’s guilty plea, his admissions to gardaí, his apology, his good work record and his not coming to adverse garda attention since the incident.

Ms Justice Ryan sentenced Gannon to three years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Sergeant Graham Weeks told Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question the accused’s former partner attended the hospital with their son who required treatment.

Gannon arrived with his brother in an “irate state”, burst into the room and started punching the woman in her head numerous times while their son sat on a hospital bed.

The accused was restrained by hospital staff members and the victim was brought to a nurse’s station.

He then escaped the grasp of the doctor and security guard who had restrained him, ran to where the victim was and started punching her again. The woman suffered a fractured nose and had double vision in one of her eyes for a period of time after the assault.

In interview with gardaí, Gannon said he lost his head when he saw his former partner of eight years.

He said he had received information that his son had been hurt and he attributed his loss of control to this fact.

Gannon has three previous convictions, including convictions for assault and public intoxication. He has five children.

Sgt Weeks agreed with Sarah-Jane O’Callaghan BL, defending, that her client had offered a “genuine” apology. He agreed that Gannon was not on garda radar before or after the assault.

Ms O’Callaghan said it was a “very very sad case” with a very “sensitive background” that she did not want to go into in open court to protect her client’s son.

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