A violent criminal who told his then-partner that he would "rip" their unborn daughter from her as he punched and kicked her in the stomach has been jailed for 13 years by a judge at the Central Criminal Court.
Dean Paget (34) pleaded guilty to attempting to murder his former partner Lisa Ward and accepted the facts in relation to a charge of intentionally ending the life of a foetus - his own unborn child.
At a sentencing hearing on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said a headline sentence of 20 years would be appropriate for such "vicious violence" coupled with "appalling threats" to Ms Ward and their baby. However, he said he would make a substantial reduction after taking into account Paget's guilty plea and his attempts to deal with his drug and alcohol issues.
He sentenced Paget to 14 years with the final 12 months suspended for two years on condition Paget work with probation services and continue to deal with his drug and alcohol addiction.
Paget, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Lisa Ward on April 25, 2021, at Montague Lane in Dublin City Centre. The court also took into account a charge of intentionally ending the life of a fetus, threatening to kill Ms Ward and their baby and the false imprisonment of Ms Ward.
The court heard further evidence on Tuesday that during a prolonged final assault after they had entered their tent on Montague Lane, Paget suffocated and choked his victim, punched her when she cried out and told her this was the moment she was going to die.
Mr Justice McDermott said CCTV footage showed Paget subjecting Ms Ward to a "series of vicious assaults and appalling threats to her own life and her baby's life."
He said that Paget had struck her repeatedly, kicked her "viciously in the abdomen", punched her in the abdomen and dragged her by the hair. The violence he used was "severe and terrifying," he said, and his threats to her included threats to kill Ms Ward. Her referenced the child by the name they had chosen, Ruby Rose, and said he would: "Rip her out of you."
The physical and emotional effects on the victim are harrowing, the judge said, and will endure for the rest of her life. Paget had betrayed whatever trust she may have had in him and had shown "no regard for her dignity as a human being or that she was the mother of an expected child".
His actions, the judge said, were from intoxication and a misplaced jealousy in that he falsely believed someone else to be the child's father.
The main mitigating factor, Mr Justice McDermott said, is the guilty plea which saved Ms Ward from the "appalling trauma of having to relive these events in public". The judge also noted Paget's "genuine remorse", admissions he made to gardaí, his significant drug and alcohol problems and violence he had witnessed as a child.
He imposed the suspended part of the sentence on the condition that Paget address the "two serious issues of violence and addiction".
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