A 35-year-old mother has won €150,000 compensation from her ex-partner following domestic abuse comprising a brutal assault in which every bone in her face was broken.
The attacker was also warned not even to look in the direction of his victim again.
The High Court had heard that Jessica Bowes begged for her life as she was punched and kicked by Jonathan McSherry in a vicious attack of domestic abuse on the street outside her home, during which she was twice knocked unconscious.
And in court yesterday, Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon was told by Ms Bowes’s counsel that McSherry was verbally abusive and threatening towards her client just before judgment was due to be given. He allegedly ended his sentence with the words: ‘You will see.’
‘This was very frightening for the plaintiff,’ Patricia Dillon SC said. ‘It should not have happened… This was observed by my solicitor in the presence of the defendant’s solicitor.’
Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon was told by Ms Bowes’s counsel that McSherry was verbally abusive and threatening towards her client just before judgment.
Ms Dillon said McSherry’s conduct at the back of the court, which he denied initiating, showed what the defendant was capable of doing.
Judge O’Hanlon said there was to be ‘not one word more’ between McSherry and Ms Bowes, adding: ‘Not one look in the direction of one another. Nothing.’ During the case, the court was shown CCTV footage which showed Ms Bowes, of Grangeview Way, Clondalkin, Dublin, being assaulted by McSherry, who had been ‘lying in wait’ for her outside her house on December 20, 2015.
Ms Bowes issued a statement, saying: ‘Today brings to a conclusion a long and protracted legal journey… I would hope that other victims of domestic abuse would be encouraged by this result.’
Judge O’Hanlon noted McSherry had launched his attack on Ms Bowes after she returned from a Christmas party with her friends in the early hours of the morning. She said he jumped on the taxi in which she was a passenger, punching the windscreen until it smashed. The court was told McSherry attacked two men in the car, who ran off as he turned his attention to Ms Bowes and a woman friend she was with.
Ms Bowes had said that after she got out of the car, he repeatedly punched her until she fell to the ground, where he kicked her up to 20 times and dragged her along the ground, continuing to kick and punch her. Judge O’Hanlon said Ms Bowes lost consciousness twice during the ten-minute attack, and suffered multiple fractures to her skull and face, which required reconstructive surgery.
The plaintiff tried to protect herself at one stage by putting her head under a neighbour’s carShe said the plaintiff tried to protect herself at one stage by putting her head under a neighbour’s car, before she was able to crawl into the house. As well as the physical injuries, she said Ms Bowes had been diagnosed with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic anxiety.
Ex-soldier McSherry, a second hand car dealer, pleaded guilty to the assault in the criminal courts.
The court heard he had breached a barring order which should have kept him away from Ms Bowes, a patient liaison officer at St James’s Hospital. In December 2016, McSherry was given a three-and-a-half year sentence with the final year suspended for assaulting Ms Bowes and for breaching the barring order, while intoxicated.
Judge O’Hanlon made an award of €150,000. Outside court, Ms Bowes issued a statement, saying: ‘Today brings to a conclusion a long and protracted legal journey… I would hope that other victims of domestic abuse would be encouraged by this result.’
If you have been a victim of domestic abuse contact us now for an assessment of your case without further obligation. This is a free assessment service offered to the public.