Pregnant woman fled house with broken leg

A pregnant mother of one had to hobble to her parents’ home in Cork with a broken leg, a head wound, and a broken arm after a 45-minute attack by her drunk partner.

William O’Brien also kicked Ellen Crowley as she went down the stairs and told her: “Be a good girl and clean up the blood before making some food.”

Judge David Riordan said a garda sergeant’s “words and the photographs of the injuries indicate this was an appalling assault on this lady; it was an exercise in domination of the most animalistic nature”.

O’Brien said from the witness box at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday: “I feel ashamed, there is not a day goes by that I don’t regret what I done. I apologise to Ellen and her family.”

The accused said the relationship was over, adding: “We are just good friends now.”

With O’Brien already serving 18 months in prison since November 2013, Judge Riordan yesterday imposed a consecutive three-and-a-half-year term, with the last 18 months suspended.

Sergeant John Sheehy said Ms Crowley did not want her partner drinking in the house they had shared at Dunmanus Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork. She told him not to come home on August 18 because he had been drinking heavily.

However, at 4.30am, after banging on the door for 10 minutes, he broke in through a kitchen window, went upstairs, knocked Ms Crowley backwards and then set about assaulting her, repeatedly slapping her with a hurley in a bedroom for 45 minutes despite the fact she was pregnant.

“Ms Crowley said to stop, that she would make him some food,” said Sgt Sheehy. “When she was walking down the stairs he kicked her on the rear of the legs.

“He said to her: ‘Be a good girl and clean up the blood before making some food.’ ”

She went to her child’s cot and tried to lift the baby out but was too badly injured to do so. Her right leg was broken, her right arm was broken, and she was severely bruised all over her legs and body.

“She was also bleeding from a head wound that later required medical staples,” said Sgt Sheehy. “In this condition she hobbled to her parents’ home. It was only a two-minute walk but it took her a long time to get there holding on to the walls of houses to get there.

“She collapsed in the door and told them to go down for the baby, which they did immediately.”

Sgt Sheehy said Ms Crowley gave birth seven weeks ago.

Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan said the relationship between the defendant and the injured party was over but they were in communication in relation to the children. He said O’Brien was dealing with his drinking, which was at the root of his problems.

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