A judge has jailed a 28-year-old Co Clare man who beat his wife “black and blue” with a belt and buckle.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan jailed the man for 13 months after describing the man as a “savage”.
Judge Durcan told the court: “The mark on the woman’s back from the belt and buckle reminds me of the savage brand used by landlords in this country in the past when dealing with tenants who didn’t comply with their requirements in a system of justice that wasn’t just.”
The judge stated that the unfortunate woman was further marked on the back of her leg by another strike of the belt and buckle during the assault in the upstairs of their home on May 2.
Judge Durcan stated: “I have not in my time on the bench seen such violence, thuggery and criminality perpetrated on a woman and a lady as has been evidenced in this case.”
The judge stated: “Nobody should be subject to that type of treatment.”
He stated: “If a farmer had treated an animal in that fashion he would be subject to the most serious rigours of the Dept of Agriculture.
Judge Durcan stated that the accused had the intimidatory weapons of the belt and buckle that he was prepared to use “to beat his wife black and blue”.
Judge Durcan stated that the assault by the man at the home with the belt and buckle against his wife “really showed the kind of savage that he is”.
The judge said that the brutality of the assault involved the enforcement instrument of the buckle and belt.
Judge Durcan stated that there was a Safety Order in place against the man that was granted to the woman in September 2017.
Judge Durcan stated that a plea of guilty to the two offences was only offered mid-trial “and this was the hollowest plea of guilt and I am giving no credit for that”.
Judge Durcan stated that at the outset of the case “I could see a frightened woman who was very clearly intimidated and did not want to give evidence”.
However, after Sgt Aiden Lonergan read out her statement of complaint concerning one charge, the man changed his not guilty plea to a guilty one to the two offences.
Sgt Lonergan stated that the man has 61 previous offences that includes a previous assault conviction.
Judge Durcan imposed a nine month jail term of the belt and buckle assault on May 2 last and a consecutive four month separate offence on April 8th where her husband pushed her up against a car
In court the man apologised to his wife for the two offences.
In the event of an appeal, Judge Durcan set recognisance at the accused’s own bond of €500 and an independent surety of €1,000.
Judge Durcan stated that if bail is taken up pending an appeal, the court will fix other bail conditions “in light of the savagery and intimidation in this case".