Suspended sentence for man who attacked couple in their home

ireland
Suspended Sentence For Man Who Attacked Couple In Their Home
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Brion Hoban

A man who kicked down a door and attacked a couple in their home while searching for his co-accused's former partner has received a fully suspended sentence.

Ben Merriman (22) and another man told the parents of the second man's' former partner they were going to kill the woman. During the attack on March 27th, 2018 Merriman spat in the mother's face and kicked the father while he was on the ground.

Merriman of Kenmare Heights, Greystones, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault, trespass and criminal damage at a house in Flemington Lane, Balbriggan, Dublin.

Extremely violent

Passing sentence on Tuesday, Judge Melanie Greally described the offence as an “extremely violent, unpleasant and frightening incident”.

Judge Greally said Merriman is now in full time employment and is in a stable relationship. She said he has made compensation available to the injured parties and has “broken” from a negative peer group.

She sentenced him to two years imprisonment, but suspended the entirety of the sentence on condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two years.

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At a previous sentencing hearing, Garda John Delaney told prosecuting counsel that on the day in question, Merriman and his co-accused approached the house shouting “Where's Chloe? We're going to kill her”.

“Slice her from ear to ear”

His co-accused hit the front door with a metal bar and smashed a living room window before they both succeeded in kicking the door down. They confronted Chloe's parents and demanded to know where she was.

The mother told them she was upstairs, but after they failed to find her there Merriman spat in her face. The other man threatened to “slice her from ear to ear”.

The other man then struck the father in the head with the metal bar and continued to strike him while he was on the ground, while Merriman kicked him. The other man said that if they did not find Chloe they would come back.

Gda Delaney accepted that the other man was the main aggressor and had inflicted most of the injuries. He also accepted that Merriman was following his co-accused out of “blind loyalty” and that he had good reason to be fearful of him.

Merriman has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since the incident. The court heard that the incident stemmed from the other man wanting to see his former partner and believed she would be at the house.

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