A Belfast man who broke his partner’s jaw just eight weeks after she gave birth to their child was jailed on Friday for an attack branded “brutal” by a Crown Court judge.
Daniel Boal stamped on the woman with such force that an inprint mark from his shoe was visible on her face.
Belfast Crown Court heard that as the woman fled the attack and sought refuge with a neighbour, Boal then attacked the good samaritan.
Branding Boal’s attack on his partner as both “brutal” and “unprovoked”, Judge Patricia Smyth handed the Tavanagh Street man a sentence of four and a half years.
The 29-year old, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a teenager, admitted four charges arising from the domestic incident which occurred on May 10 last year.
Before coming home drunk and attacking his partner in a house where three children were present, Boal consumed half of a 40oz bottle of vodka, Diazepam and Lyrica.
Despite mimimising his role in the attack by initially claiming he was acting in self-defence, Boal has expressed remorse for his actions, and appeared upset when he was shown photographs of her injuries whilst in custody.
The court heard that Boal is no longer in a relationship with the woman he attacked.
During today’s sentencing, Judge Smyth said that after returning to their Glenrosa Street home, he kicked her twice before punching her.
As she lay on the ground, Boal then stamped on her face three times, leaving a mark on her face from his shoe. The woman’s glasses were also broken during the attack.
She managed to flee across the road to a neighbour’s house, but she was followed by Boal who proceeded to punch the neighbour in the face several times.
When police arrived at the scene, they located Boal back in his own house and concealing a small knife under his armpit.
He was arrested and during interview, he admitted punching his neighbour. And while he accepted he had attacked his partner, he initially denied stamping on her face and claimed he was acting in self-defence.
He later told officers that when she fell he kicked out, making the case he didn’t mean to kick her in the face.
Telling Boal “you have a problem with your temper”, Judge Smyth pointed out he had a prior conviction for a similar offence.
She also told Boal that while she accepted his Asperger’s had an impact on his culpability and made him less aware of the consequences of his actions, it was however his “voluntary” decision to abuse drink and drugs.