Father of murdered Cork toddler admits assaulting her killer Karen Harrington last year

No facts of the case were outlined in court but the charge sheet refers to the location as being a bus stop at Merchant's Quay, Cork, in January last year — about 18 months after the murder of Michael Cawley's daughter by his then partner, Karen Harrington
Father of murdered Cork toddler admits assaulting her killer Karen Harrington last year

Michael Cawley, 37, appeared before Cork District Court where he faced a charge of assault causing harm to Karen Harrington on January 26, 2021, contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. Picture: Larry Cummins

The father of murdered infant Santina Cawley confessed on Wednesday to a charge of assault causing harm to the woman convicted last week of murdering his daughter.

Michael Cawley, 37, appeared before Cork District Court where he faced a charge of assault causing harm to Karen Harrington on January 26, 2021, contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

No facts of the case were outlined in court but the charge sheet refers to the location as being a bus stop at Merchant's Quay, Cork, in January last year — about 18 months after the murder of his daughter by his then partner, Karen Harrington.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said the accused was prepared to plead guilty to the charge at Cork District Court on Wednesday.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis asked for a two-week adjournment for sentencing. Sgt Davis said the reason for the adjournment application was “to canvas the question of whether there is to be a victim impact statement” .

Such a statement can be made by an injured party if they so wish but they are not obliged to do so.

Judge Joanne Carroll adjourned the case until June 8, with Mr Cawley remanded on continuing bail until then. 

It is anticipated that the facts of the assault case will be outlined on that date.

It was only last week that Mr Cawley’s own victim impact statement made headlines when his former partner, Karen Harrington, was jailed for life for murdering his daughter. 

Michael Cawley of Leeside Apartments, Bachelors Quay, Cork, was originally charged by Garda Conor Manton with assaulting Karen Harrington.

She was jailed for life on Monday, May 16, for murdering two-year-old Santina Cawley.

The jury of 11 were unanimous in their guilty verdict against Karen Harrington at the Central Criminal Court last week.

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