Man who assaulted two former partners is jailed for four yearsGary Ibbotson 27 Mar 2023
By Fiona Ferguson
A man has been jailed for four years for assaulting two of his former partners.
Leon King (22) pushed one of the women down a flight of stairs following an argument and assaulted the second women, threatening to break every bone in her body, while she was pregnant.
The first woman suffered a fractured ankle in her fall, while 10 months later King kicked the second woman’s leg and put his hands to her throat before she managed to escape from the house.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that both women suffered traumatic effects as a result of the violence and continue to have issues with anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares.
Defence counsel for King told Judge Martin Nolan that he had grown up in a chaotic and abusive household and witnessed domestic violence as a child.
King, of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun, pleaded guilty to assaulting the first women at his then home in Phibsborough on October 25, 2019 and assaulting the second woman at his home in Ballymun on August 3, 2020.
King further pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder in relation to an incident in South William Street on June 17, 2021 . He admitted throwing a punch which did not land during a wider incident in the city centre.
Passing sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said these had been two nasty assaults and were aggravated by the fact the women were intimate partners of King at the time.
Judge Nolan said King had not had a great start in life and had many problems, including a lack of self control.
He noted he was willing to rehabilitate which he said he hoped would be successful – both for King and for society.
He said King certainly deserved a custodial term and he imposed consecutive sentences totalling five years.
He suspended the final year of the sentence in order to aid rehabilitation.
Garda Ben Keyes told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that the first woman was visiting King at his home and a dispute arose about messages on his phone.
She said she pushed him causing a cup of tea or hot chocolate to spill, before turning to leave.
King followed her out onto the landing and grabbed hold of her to stop her leaving.
She hit him “two or three slaps” to make him let her go and turned to leave again. She said he then pushed her down the stairs, leaving her lying at the bottom in extreme pain.
She was assisted by another man who told King to go back to his room.
He helped the woman outside to her friend’s car. She was taken to hospital and had to wear a cast on her leg for three months.
King was arrested and made some admissions.
He tried to equivocate at first and suggest it was an accident. He said it was stupid and later claimed it was self defence, but ultimately pleaded guilty.
The women told the court in her victim impact statement that there were not words to explain the impact the domestic violence had on her life.
She described feeling broken and alone, as well as suffering severe anxiety.
She said she finds it hard to trust people and still suffers nightmares. She told Judge Nolan that all it took was one trigger “and I am back in that room thinking I m going to die.”
In relation to the second assault 10 months later, the court heard that the second woman was in a relationship with King and was four months pregnant.
King asked her to post a picture on Instagram but she refused and they had an argument.
King began threatening to kill himself and shouting that she was not going to leave him. He stood in the doorway to prevent her leaving, smashed her phone when she tried to text for help and put his hands to her throat.
She said it did not hurt but it was scary and she felt he was capable of killing her. While he had his hands on her throat, King told her he would break every bone in her body before he kicked her leg.
This woman told the court that she also suffers nightmares and flashback and had undergone counselling.
She said she would never forget the physical and mental abuse she suffered at her most vulnerable time, carrying their baby. She said it has had a major traumatic effect on her life.
Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said King had grown up in turbulent, chaotic and abusive household.
She said there was regular and consistent domestic violence within his home and submitted that what one grows up with as a child influences what one thinks is acceptable.
She stressed this was not an excuse but an explanation. She said he grew up knowing nothing else.
She said King went into foster care but became homeless at the age of 18.
Theses offences occurred when King was 19, 20 and 21. She said he was close to his grandparents and the death of his grandfather, and later his mother, had a significant effect on him.
She said he was first introduced to drugs at the age of six and this escalated during his teenage years.
Counsel said he wishes to move forward and tackle his addiction, engage in counselling and continue his rehabilitation. She asked the court to be as lenient as possible.