A man who kicked and stamped on his pregnant fiancée’s head 17 times in a savage and grotesque unprovoked attack, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after sentencing at Cavan Circuit Court today,
28-year-old Lance Dempsey’s guilty plea came in the face of overwhelming evidence in what the judge described as a “persistent and sustained attack“.
He left his partner Sonia Lee with lasting brain damage following the attack in a stairwell at Cavan Town’s Chilli Lounge on March 16th, 2018.
In passing sentence, the judge said that CCTV footage of the attack made for “difficult viewing“. It was only while Ms/ Lee fought for her life in hospital, with broken facial bones and bleeding on the brain, that it was discovered she was 15 weeks pregnant.
Despite the enormity of her catatrophic injuries, and which saw treatment of 10 days in a coma in ICU, Ms Lee went on to give birth to a healthy little baby boy.
Roisin Lacey SC told the court that Dempsey “He had little or no recollection of what happened that fateful night,” said Ms Lacey, who said the only plausible “excuse” her client had for his behaviour was intoxication.
The barrister highlighted Dempsey’s admissions in garda interview after CCTV of the attack was replayed to him. He stated he was “disgusted” by his actions, and felt like a “scumbag”. Dempsey also subsequent to the vile attack attempted to evade arrest, assaulted gardai who attempted to detain and passed on false information.
Handing down sentence today, Judge John Alymer said this was a very violent and vicious assault, at the upper end of the scale, which could not have been better captured from CCTV at the top of the stairs.
Judge Alymer said the very serious permanent harm and brain damage suffered by the victim, the fact her head was the target and the gross breach of trust in an assault of a partner had all been taken into account. He said all of this was aggravated by his subsequent assault of gardaí and the lies he told after the assault.
He sentenced him to 11 years in prison, suspending the sentence for 18 months.