Man who repeatedly punched and kicked pregnant partner has sentence doubled

Man Who Repeatedly Punched And Kicked Pregnant Partner Has Sentence Doubled
Jason Doyle (28) will serve 18 months in prison after his sentence was increased to three years with nine months suspended. Photo: PA Images
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Paul Neilan

A violent criminal who was jailed for nine months for repeatedly punching his pregnant partner during a protracted attack in her home has had his jail time doubled by the Court of Appeal.

In January, Sligo Circuit Criminal Court heard that Jason Doyle (28), who has 86 previous convictions including those for domestic violence, had been charged with four counts of assaulting his then partner, Karen Maguire, causing her harm at their home on January 10th, 2021.


At that hearing, Leo Mulrooney BL, prosecuting, told Judge Keenan Johnson the accused had pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm on a full-facts basis, where all the details of the offences are heard.

Doyle, of Tower Hill, Ballymote, Co Sligo, received a two-year sentence but with the final 15 months suspended in order to encourage his rehabilitation for addiction and anger issues.

However, the State successfully appealed the sentence, claiming that it had been unduly lenient.

The lower court heard that on the night Doyle was intoxicated and hit Ms Maguire across the top of the head with a closed right fist. Doyle was wearing a gold ring on his middle finger which caused Ms Maguire to bleed from her head.


Doyle followed her into the kitchen and then slapped her, causing bruising to her jaw-line. Ms Maguire said the assaults all occurred between midnight and the early hours on January 10th, 2021.

At one stage, she went into the bathroom to ring a friend, but Doyle came into the bathroom and punched her, connecting with the left side of her head near her eye.

Later the same night, while in the bedroom he punched her on the back of her left arm, the back of the head and kicked her right leg.

'Substantial departure from the norm'

The court heard that Doyle had 86 previous convictions which included assault, robbery, criminal damage and domestic violence.


In her judgement on Tuesday, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said the three-judge court would double Doyle's jail-time to 18 months.
Ms Justice Kennedy said credit was due to Doyle for his expression of remorse but that his guilty plea was a late one entered on the day of the trial.

Ms Justice Kennedy said that the court would uphold the headline sentence of three years but found that the lower court erred in applying an "excessive" discount for mitigation and for suspending 15 months of the two-year sentence.

The judge said the sentence amounted to a "substantial departure from the norm" and that it was an error in principle.
Ms Justice Kennedy said the Court of Appeal would quash the original sentence and substitute a headline sentence of three years but with nine months discounted for Doyle's guilty plea, leaving 18 months jail time to serve.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800-341 900, email or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01-554 3811, email for support and information. 


Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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