Hot coffee was thrown into a vulnerable woman’s face in a cafe when she broke up with her boyfriend — burning her and causing her deep anguish. The culprit was today given a 10-month suspended jail sentence.
Judge Olann Kelleher said even though 35-year-old Kevin Farrell, of 3 Oak Drive, Hillview, Waterford, had no previous convictions, he could not be left without a conviction. He said it was important to impose a substantial sentence to mark the seriousness of the assault.
The judge suspended it on condition that Farrell would have no contact with his ex-girlfriend for two years and not contact her directly or indirectly, including through social media.
“I promise I won’t,” Farrell said as the condition was explained at Cork District Court today.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said that on June 27, 2018, at 4.30pm, Farrell was having coffee with his then-girlfriend at O’Brien’s café in Mahon Point, Cork.
She ended her relationship of eight months with him on this occasion. Farrell got upset and threw hot coffee into her face. She was treated for first-degree burns to her cheek, chest, and thigh.
Judge Kelleher noted that both parties had some disabilities and that it would have been a very frightening injury for her to have hot coffee thrown in her face in this manner. He noted from a victim impact statement that she suffered mental anguish as a result.
The judge said: “Both parties got a tough break in life with their disabilities. It was nice to see them in a relationship when it suited both of them for about eight months."
The young woman said from the witness box: “I don’t go out much anymore and when I do, I jump out of my skin. My mental health has been affected.”
Michael Quinlan, defending, said: “He has instructed me to apologise and said it is totally out of character.”
The defence previously accepted that there was no doubt that it was a dreadfully bad offence which had traumatised the young woman. However, in the defendant’s favour he had no previous convictions of any kind and pleaded guilty to the charge.
On a number of court appearances, the injured party has been visibly upset and was particularly keen that the case would be finalised.