Belfast Telegraph

Dublin man who assaulted Derry woman in front of her daughter (9) sentenced

The victim's daughter ran onto the street screaming for help

By George Jackson

A Dublin man who assaulted a Derry woman whom he met and entered a relationship with through an internet dating website, was jailed for three months at the Magistrate's Court in Derry on Monday.

Dylan Power, 28, from Kiltawn Drive in Tallaght, admitted assaulting the woman, stealing her two Samsung Galaxy mobile phones valued at £1,140, causing criminal damage to her Xbox 360 and possessing a knife in a public place.

He committed the offences inside and outside the woman's home in the Abercorn Road area of Derry on May 23 of this year, just weeks after he'd moved in with her.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service told District Judge Oonagh Mullan that Power, in a fit of temper, verbally abused the woman's 9-year-old daughter when she asked if she could use the Xbox 360 Power was playing with.

When the girl's mother challenged Power about the language he had used to her daughter, Power damaged the Xbox, damaged the screen on one of the woman's mobile phones, grabbed her by the hair, and punched her several times to the face. He then ran into the kitchen and armed himself with a 30 cm long knife and continued to verbally abuse the woman.

The victim's daughter ran onto the street screaming for help. Power then left the house taking the woman's two mobile phones with him as well as the knife.

"He shouted that he would stab anyone who came near him", the prosecutor said.

The police were alerted to the incident and they found Power inside the grounds of the nearby Lumen Christi College in Bishop Street where they arrested him after he'd sent several text messages to the 9-year-old girl.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said Power "saw red and cracked up" in the woman's house.

"He took the knife with the intent of self harming and he threw the knife away and then phoned the police and told them where he was.

"He has no criminal record in Northern Ireland and he has been in custody since he was arrested for the offences on May 23. He has served the equivalent of a three-month jail sentence in custody and his only bail application was refused by the High Court on May 30", Mr. MacDermott said.

The District Judge said the fact that the offences took place in front of a 9-year-old girl in a domestic setting were aggravating features in the case. However she said she took into consideration the fact that Power, by his guilty pleas, had not forced his victim and her daughter to come to court to give evidence against him.

Ms. Mullan said she also accepted that Power had spent the equivalent of a three-month jail sentence while in custody. She imposed concurrent three-month jail sentences on each of the four charges Power had pleaded guilty to meaning Power will be released from prison within the next twenty-four hours.

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