Defence Forces man convicted of assault

A Portarlington member of the Defence Forces has been given community service for an assault in which a woman had her head put through a glass door.

Before the recent Portlaoise Circuit Court was Ruairi Allen, Portarlington, charged with assault causing harm on April 1, 2012, at Kilnacourt Woods, Portarlington.

Sgt James Phelan gave evidence, led by State prosecutor, Mr Will Fennelly. Allen was at a GAA fight night with his girlfriend, Amy Dunne, Portarlington, when a dispute arose between Dunne and another woman. The altercation was broken up by the women’s boyfriends and both couples left.

The woman then got separated from her boyfriend and arrived alone at the house where she was staying. While she was waiting outside, a taxi pulled into the estate at 3am and Allen and Dunne got out and came towards her.

The woman was assaulted by both Allen and Dunne and her head was put through a glass pane. She was also bitten and kicked to the ground. Her mobile phone was also stamped on by Allen.

At one point, Allen was heard to say, “Kill her”.

The injured party was brought to hospital with multiple scratches and tears, and a bite mark on her left arm. She lost two fingernails and required five staples to her head.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had been left very traumatised and hasn’t socialised in Portarlington since this vicious assault. She had dried blood in her hair for a week, has sleepless nights and has been left with a problem with her jaw.

Between the damage to her phone, medical bills, the damage to the window and her missing two weeks’ work, she was at a total loss of €1,444.

When arrested, Allen claimed that the injured party had attacked Dunne, rather than the other way round. He is a member of the Defence Forces attached to the Curragh camp and has recently returned from a period in the Lebanon. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Tony Hunt remarked that it was not possible to determine whether Allen or Dunne had been more culpable in the assault, but they were both equally responsible through common purpose.

“One can’t determine who shoved the girl’s head through the window; I can’t understand how it got to this,” said Judge Hunt. “The Defence Forces are a discipline force, but what he exhibited on the night falls far short of what should be his training and instinct…. he should know better.”

The judge imposed 200 hours’ community service in lieu of 18 months in prison. Allen also handed in €3,000 compensation.

Amy Dunne was convicted at a previous court sitting, and also received 200 hours’ community service.


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