Man jailed for six months after vicious assault on ex-girlfriend

August 27, 2021

A young man who viciously attacked his girlfriend after they had enjoyed a Chinese meal together has been jailed for six months.

Paul Dooher appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with assaulting his former partner and mother of his child Sylvia Darby.

The court was told that Ms Darby called to 21 year old Dooher’s home at Castle Park in Newtowncunningham on July 16th last.

They enjoyed an evening together but a row ensued and Dooher got the keys to Ms Darby’s car and tried to take off in it.

CCTV footage shown in court showed Dooher reversing the car before Ms Darby comes running out of the house trying to stop Dooher.

The video shows Dooher pushing Ms Darby to the ground before running off and then returning to try and get into the car again.

Ms Darby manages to get into the car and the accused tries to close the door a number of times on her body before again violently pushing her to the ground.

He then fled the scene before Gardai arrived.

Detective Garda John O’Sullivan of Ballybofey Garda station outlined the circumstances of the incident to the court.

He revealed how Dooher was on bail as he is facing serious charges at Letterkenny Circuit Court.

He said Dooher broke  a number of his bail conditions which included that he remain sober, that he stay indoors after 10pm each evening and that he stay away form contacting Ms Darby.

He said he arrested Dooher on July 21st and he initially denied any knowledge of any incident until he was shown full CCTV footage of the incident.

Solicitor for Dooher, Mr Patsy Gallagher said his client was trying to stay away from Ms Darby but said it was she who initiated the contact.

He said he has tried to stop their relationship but she had continued to contact him.

“It’s a very unusual case and it’s not for me to criticise victims. It’s a sad case and this is not a healthy relationship but he has done his best to stay away from the injured party.

“Unfortunate comments were made which brought s park to his turmoil. He understands that he has to deal with this other matter in court but there is a roadmap for his future,” said Mr Gallagher.

Judge Sandra Murphy said she was concerned that Dooher needed help to address his drinking habits.

The court was told that he has 20 previous convictions, some of which were for assault but that alcohol was a factor in a lot of them.

Judge Murphy described this as a serious assault and also took into account that there was an on/off relationship between the accused and the victim.

However, she also sterssed that the incident tok place while Dooher was on bail and that he had broken some of the bail conditions.

She sentenced Dooher to six months in jail but backdated it to when he went into custody in July.

She also said that if Dooher was deemed suitable, she would replace the jail sentence with 100 hours community service.

She remanded the accused in custody until September 1st to see if he was deemed suitable for community service.