Judge Catherine Staines declared that a Portlaoise man deserved to go to jail for punching a woman in the face, but she last week deferred sentencing for a victim impact statement and a probation report.
Before the court was Andrew Murphy, 3 Mountain View Square, Portlaoise, charged with assault causing harm at Main Street, Portlaoise, on March 17 last year.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that the injured party came across Murphy arguing with a girl, and after she became involved he punched her in the face. She fell to the ground and was struck again, the inspector said. The injured party suffered bruising to her face, and required three stitches to the back of her head.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher admitted it was an appalling act to be carried out. He said that Murphy did not strike the woman on the ground, it was another woman in the group who did that, but he did strike the initial blow.
Mr Meagher said Murphy had been out with his partner, who had not been drinking as she was pregnant, and he had been drinking quite a lot. They went to get a taxi and got into a discussion with a group, and the discussion became heated between his partner and another woman. The injured party then got involved and Murphy struck out.
“He reacted to a comment,” said Mr Meagher.
“This deserves an immediate custodial sentence, it’s appalling behaviour to punch a lady in the face,” said Judge Staines.
However, she put the matter back to May 21 for a victim impact statement and probation report before sentencing. She also advised Hughes to consider the issue of compensation.