Man who headbutted his partner gets 18 months

By Brion Hoban

A man who headbutted his then partner, picked her up by the neck and threw her out of his home has been jailed for 18 months.

Derek Tuohy (37) of Hayden Park Walk, Lucan,  pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at his address on November 1, 2017. He has nine previous convictions for road traffic and public order offences.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Garda Gemma Collins told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that the accused attended a Halloween party with his then partner Samantha Murphy.

At around 3am, Ms Murphy noticed the accused looked intoxicated and intervened to prevent him from returning home alone.

Garda Collins said that the accused drove back to his address with Ms Murphy in the back seat of the car. She retired to the bedroom and when the accused joined her he started calling her “expletives”.

Tuohy punched Ms Murphy three times on her right thigh. She jumped off the bed and left the bedroom, attempting to call Tuohy’s sister and then his mother on the phone.

The accused grabbed the phone from her hands and threw it downstairs where it smashed. He headbutted her to her right temple which caused her to fall back and down the stairs.

Tuohy kicked her in the stomach while she lay at the bottom of the stairs. He then proceeded to lift her up in the air with his hands around her neck and threw her out of the house.

A passing jogger contacted gardai after he saw Ms Murphy barefoot on the street trying to flag down motorists.

Ms Murphy obtained a protection order in the wake of the incident. The accused has made no contact with her or their child since the offence occurred.

Ms Dempsey told the court that there was no victim-impact statement before the court as Ms Murphy was currently homeless and gardai had been unable to contact her.

Kieran Kelly BL, defending, submitted to the court that his client was “genuinely stunned and shocked” with his actions on the night and he initially found it difficult to accept his actions.

Mr Kelly asked the court to deal with the incident as a one-off case of “red mist descending”.

Judge Martin Nolan said it seemed the accused had little or no memory of what he did that night. He said the offence was a serious and unprovoked assault on a defenceless woman.

Judge Nolan sentenced Tuohy to 18 months’ imprisonment.

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