Father put daughter in choke-hold and  stood on her face gets prison sentence
Blanchardstown District Court

Father put daughter in choke-hold and stood on her face gets prison sentence

A FATHER put his daughter in a choke-hold, threw her to the ground and stood on her face after a row, a court heard.

John Finn, a 45-year-old security worker, left his daughter bruised and bleeding from the nose and mouth in the assault that happened during lockdown when “tensions were fraught”.

At Blanchardstown District Court, Judge Colm Roberts sentenced him to six months in prison, with four months suspended.

Finn, with an address at Rockfield Drive, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his eldest daughter (23) and simple assault on his younger daughter (19) at Kilcronan Close in Clondalkin on April 17, 2020.

Sergeant Walter Sweeney said that morning, the eldest daughter called to gardai and reported that she had been assaulted by her father.

She said there was a verbal dispute between her father and her sister after which the accused punched her sister in the back.

When the eldest daughter intervened, she said, her father put her in a choke hold, threw her to the floor, stood on her face a number of times and kicked her on the thigh.

She was left bleeding from her nose and mouth, swelling around her face and bruising to her thigh, the court heard.

Finn was detained and interviewed. He had previous convictions including one for a simple assault, but they went back 10 years.

His barrister Ciaran MacLoughlin said Finn was pleading guilty but took issue with the alleged punch to his younger daughter, saying this was a push.

During the row, the accused was trying to push the other daughter up the stairs when the older daughter came to protect her and it escalated, Mr MacLoughlin said.

Finn “retaliated in a way that he shouldn’t have”.

His relationship with his younger daughter was on the mend now but that was not the case with eldest daughter. However, he accepted that he had to suffer the consequences of having her estranged from him.

The incident happened during lockdown when they were all in the house together and tensions were fraught, Mr MacLoughlin said.

The accused was “more than open” to undertaking anger management.

Judge Roberts said Finn was a security person trained to deal with situations in a non-violent manner but “unfortunately he forgot his training”.

Finn looked as if he was a fit man and “stronger than his daughters,” the judge said.

The eldest daughter said in a victim impact statement that she wanted justice.

The judge imposed a six-month sentence on the more serious assault charge, with four months suspended for two years. A condition of the suspension is that he undergoes anger management.

Finn was given a concurrent one- month suspended sentence on the simple assault charge. Judge Roberts said it was a family tragedy but the more serious charge had to be marked with a custodial sentence.

“He has to spend some time in prison, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing justice to the situation,” he said. Recognisances for bail were set in the event of an appeal.