Three month sentence of Garda for domestic violence is "appalling" says Women's Council 1 month ago

Three month sentence of Garda for domestic violence is "appalling" says Women's Council

*Content warning: This article contains details of domestic violence.*

"The sentence is appalling and absolutely sends the wrong signal on how serious the courts take domestic violence offences."

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The National Women's Council of Ireland has criticised a recent ruling in a domestic violence case which saw a then-serving garda receive a three-month jail sentence.

The Irish Times reports that in 2018, the man, who is in his 30s, broke into his former partner's home, where he was later discovered by her and her children. He subsequently choked her and broke her fingers. As he pushed her against the door, he also threatened to kill her, the court heard.

The woman suffered bruising to her face.

The man, who cannot be named as the victim's children were witnesses to the incident, received a six-month sentence with the final three months suspended at the Dublin District Court. He was also ordered to pay his former partner €1,000.

The National Women's Council of Ireland has since criticised the short jail time the ex-garda now has to serve. The organisation has said that the message the sentencing sends will have negative consequences when it comes to encouraging survivors to report abuse.

The company's director, Orla O'Connor told Her: "The sentence is appalling and absolutely sends the wrong signal on how serious the courts take domestic violence offences.

"This is really concerning as we now have better legislation in relation to coercive control for example."

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Ms O'Connor continued: "Our expectation would have been that our sentences therefore better reflect the horrendous impact domestic violence has on victims. However, this sentence clearly fails to do this with very negative consequences in terms of encouraging and supporting people to report domestic violence."

If you have been affected by any of the details of this article, you can contact Women's Aid's 24 hour helpline on 1800 341 900 and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888.