Man gets suspended sentence for beating up ex-girlfriend who describes attack as 'life-changing'

An apprentice electrician has received a suspended prison sentence of two years for beating up his ex-girlfriend.

Ian Kelly, aged 26, drove the woman to a secluded spot before repeatedly punching her in the face, head and stomach. He took her phone and bit her hand when she tried to get it back from him.

Kelly then threatened to drive the mother-of-one up into the Dublin mountains and kill her. He told her she would never see her child again.

Kelly of Turvey Avenue, Inchicore, Dublin has 10 previous convictions. He previously received a suspended prison sentence for an assault in which the victim was knocked to the ground and kicked.

The victim in that case lost consciousness and had four teeth kicked out of his head, Garda Irma Costello told the Central Criminal Court today. Kelly also has a previous conviction for a failure to report a hit-and-run of a minor.

Ian Kelly arriving at court today. Pic: Courtpix.

After a trial last month, a jury convicted Kelly of assault causing harm to Lisa Haslam at an unknown location in Dublin on May 7, 2015. Kelly had denied the charge although he admitted to gardaí that he had hit her.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott noted the hurt and damage done to the victim and said that the appropriate sentence was two years imprisonment.

He said he would suspend the sentence because “there are positive features which would be utterly at risk, and to no great benefit to society, if he was sentenced to jail”.

He noted that Kelly was serving out the final year of an apprenticeship and his employer spoke very highly of him. He also noted Kelly's voluntary involvement with youth football coaching.

He said this activity was at odds with his own inability to control his own temper as teaching young men how to control their temper was an important feature of coaching.

Gda Costello told the court that when Kelly picked up the victim in his van he immediately became aggressive. He drove to a derelict property and took her phone and began asking her and challenging her about contacts with other men.

He then began punching and striking her. The attack ended when he dropped her off at an entrance to the Phoenix Park and she ran to get help. A man who met her then said she was terrified and distressed.

After his subsequent arrest Kelly told gardaí he was ashamed of his actions.

The victim told the court that her life changed completely as a result of Kelly's attack. She described waking up screaming and having problems sleeping.

She said she would never be able to live on her own and was frightened when bringing her child to school.

Brendan Grehan SC, defending, handed a number of testimonials into court, including references from people connected to St Patricks Athletics football club.


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