By Sonya McLean
A woman who was subjected to two attacks by her partner in the space of six weeks has said she was so afraid in the aftermath of the beatings that she slept with an axe beside her bed.
Kim Kelly was first beaten by Ian McCluskey (54) in his home after she said she could not lend him any money.
Six weeks later, he and his friend David Corr (41) assaulted her again after referring to the earlier assault charges. Corr called her a “rat” during that second attack.
Ms Kelly couldn’t recall the details of what started McCluskey’s first attack on her but told gardaí she was knocked to the ground and then had “feet coming down on top of me like Riverdance”.
She said in the second beating, McCluskey kept referring to the earlier attack and she kept telling him to forget about it but he became more and more agitated.
He got up and hit her in the face with his closed fist.
She said Corr was then “digging her in the back” while McCluskey was “digging her in the face”.
Ms Kelly said in her victim impact statement that she really feared the men were going to kill her during the second attack.
She thought they were going to throw her out of the apartment window and she begged for her life.
McCluskey of The Plaza, Shangan Road, Ballymun, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Kelly at his home on January 26, 2022.
He also admitted threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Ms Kelly, witness intimidation and assaulting Ms Kelly causing her harm again at his home on March 1, 2022.
Corr, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to assault causing Ms Kelly harm, threatening to kill or cause her harm and intimidation of a witness on March 1, 2022.
McCluskey has 75 previous convictions for assault, criminal damage, theft and possession of knives; while Corr has 85 for offences, including sexual assault, threats to kill and aggravated burglary.
Judge Dara Hayes said that although McCluskey was not on bail when he assaulted Ms Kelly the second time, he deserved a consecutive sentence because the second offence involved intimidating her in relation to the first attack.
He sentenced McCluskey to consecutive sentences totaling five years and suspended the final 12 months in an attempt to encourage him to rehabilitate.
Judge Hayes imposed a sentence of three years on Corr with the final 12 months suspended on strict conditions.
Judge Hayes said people are entitled to feel safe in their home and that of their partner and also to feel safe in the company of their partner – “that entitlement was not afforded to Ms Kelly”, he said.
He said he was taking into account the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by Ms Kelly and the impact the two beatings had on her.
The judge said that the intimidation charge was “an attack on the criminal justice process”.
Judge Hayes said that the offences were serious and the attacks on Ms Kelly “constituted domestic violence”.
Judge Hayes had adjourned the case overnight having heard evidence yesterday. He acknowledged that Ms Kelly was present in court and thanked her for coming to court and for her victim impact statement.
Ms Kelly’s victim impact statement was read into the record.
She said she had two black eyes, cuts to her face and head, bruises and tenderness as a result of the attacks.
She said she had been seeing a counsellor and has since been diagnosed as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Ms Kelly said she turned to alcohol and tried taking drugs in order to make herself numb in the aftermath of the attacks.
Ms Kelly said she sleeps with an axe beside her. She lives in constant fear, “even little noises make me jumpy”.
“I went into survival mode,” Ms Kelly said and “really focused on how I was going to escape”, she said.
Referring to the second attack by Corr and McCluskey, she said she thought they were going to kill her.
“I begged for my life,” she said in her victim impact statement. She said she feared the men were going to throw her out of the window.
Ms Kelly said she moved to a hostel in Dublin city because she was too afraid to go home. She is not her usual self.
“I want to be able to put this behind me and look forward to the future,” Ms Kelly concluded in her statement.