Man ‘to be feared’ is jailed for five years

A Cork man who maintains “an image of himself as a man to be feared” was jailed yesterday for five years.

One of his crimes was the fracturing of a woman’s cheekbone. He knocked her out in front of her family.

David Ross, of 55 Mary Aikenhead Place, Gurranabraher, Cork, was yesterday sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for trespassing at the woman’s home, for assault causing harm to her, and for dealing in heroin.

Judge Gerard O’Brien imposed a total jail term of seven years, with the last two years suspended.

The judge directed that the accused undergo an alternative-to-violence programme. He complimented senior probation officer, Deirdre Coakley, for the excellence of her report on Ross.

Ross pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Laura O’Donoghue at Glentrasna Avenue, The Glen, Cork, on January 23 last. He also admitted trespassing at her home, at Comeragh Park, The Glen, Cork, to cause criminal damage, earlier on that same date.

Thirdly, he admitted having Diamorphine, at Glentrasna Avenue, on February 14. The drugs charge referred to 56 small bags, worth €1,600, for sale or supply.

Judge O’Brien referred to the gravity of the burglary offence and of the assault, which resulted in a broken cheekbone. Surgery was required.

“A gravely aggravating factor was that this assault occurred in front of her family, based on an unsubstantiated incident that somebody had reported to David Ross,” the judge noted. “There is no justification, whatsoever, for this attack, either upon the house or the injured party.

“He has served three prison sentences for assaults and spent the majority of his life in custody. There is a very high risk of re-offending.”

The victim continued to fear the accused and had applied for a transfer out of the area where the crimes against her were committed.

Garda Danielle Hegarty previously told the court Ross had been coming to the attention of gardaí for crimes of violence from the age of 16.

“He maintains an image of himself as a man to be feared,” Judge O’Brien said.

Mitigating factors included the defendant’s difficult upbringing. The judge said he was concerned that such a young man had spent so much of his life incarcerated.

The accused pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility for his actions, although there was a lack of victim empathy.


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