Gino Delaney, aged 19, of 4 Plunkett Road, Ballyphehane, Cork, went on trial on Tuesday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on a charge of assault causing harm to the 17-year-old girl on December 7, 2014. On the second day of his trial yesterday, he changed his plea to guilty.
Detective Garda James Nagle said: “She called to her boyfriend’s home late at night. She had been admitted by the defendant. They had gone to his bedroom. During her time in his bedroom an argument arose over an ex-girlfriend.
“It was alleged by the injured party that he hit her a number of times with his fists in her face. She suffered a broken nose, her teeth were displaced and she suffered bruising to her face and a blow to her ear.”
Judge Donagh McDonagh said: “This man is a menace to society. This is as dirty and as sordid an assault causing harm to come before the court, an assault by a young man of 6ft 3in, a very large powerfully built young man. She was elfin-like by comparison. We now know he is deceitful and two-timing. On top of that he is a bully and a coward.”
He said Delaney had no concern for her and instructed his barrister, Dermot Sheehan, to cross-examine her at length on the opening day of the trial and attempted to besmirch her.
Judge McDonagh said he could not help thinking the accused only pleaded guilty when he saw the photographs of the injured party.
When first questioned by gardaí, Delaney claimed it was self-defence.
He apologised through his counsel yesterday.
Before the judge sentenced him, Mr Sheehan suggested the apology in open court would not only go to the victim but that it could have a healing effect for others living in the Togher area of Cork.
Det Garda Nagle read from the victim’s impact statement: “Since the attack my life has changed so much for the worst. My change in appearance has overwhelmed me with depression. I still notice the differences to how I was before. It is a constant reminder that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“I have lost nearly all my confidence. (There are times when) I stay at home crying not wanting to leave the house. I feel guilty for the pain and distress this has caused my family,” she said.
The judge said she need feel no guilt and it was Gino Delaney who caused the pain and distress for her family.
She found the cross-examination deeply upsetting and all she wanted now was to be left alone.
Delaney had a two-year suspended sentence and a concurrent four-year suspended sentence hanging over him for another assault causing harm and a car hijacking respectively. That total four-year term was activated yesterday and a consecutive four-year sentence was added with the last two years suspended.