Woman assaulted by former Fair City star calls for more women to speak out

Patrick Fitzpatrick.

Last week, Patrick (Paddy) Fitzpatrick, who played the character of Zumo Bishop in Fair City, was sentenced to one month in prison, for assaulting his former girlfriend Sarah Behan.

This follows another conviction and suspended sentence that he received in May of this year, for punching and biting another former partner.

Today, Sarah Behan spoke out about her experience joining Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning.

Sarah felt very strongly that there is a message to send out to other women.

Sarah told Miriam that the assault happened after the All Ireland final when they were out for drinks in a local pub. Sarah came across an ex-boyfriend in the pub but said everything seemed fine.

It was only when we got in the door that he completely flipped, pinned me up against the wall, started to choke me.

Sarah told Miriam that her son (5) was in the house while Paddy was punching her. Her son kept trying to come to Sarah's aide, 'I was full sure he was going to kill me'.

Sarah said that the abuse went on for a couple of hours. She spoke of how he had been very controlling in their relationship. She was worried for her son, saying that Paddy would be very unpredictable.

Taking Paddy to court, ('it was the longest two years of my life') Sarah says that she was lucky that it didn't go to trial, that he pleaded guilty.

Sarah wants to desensitize the issue by talking about it more. Disappointed by the one-month sentencing, Sarah feels that it doesn't send a great message. She told Miriam that her experience with the gardaí was fantastic.

Impacted by the attack, Sarah says she was a completely different person, suffering panic attacks that would result in her blacking out. Thankfully she doesn't suffer from them as often.

Praising Women's Aid, Sarah thinks these support groups need more funding. Her son, now 7, still suffers from anxiety.

- Digital Desk

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