By Jessica Magee
A man who attacked his former partner leaving her “covered in blood” after forcing her into a car boot will be sentenced next month at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Soufiane Mountassir (39) went into what his former partner called “a blind rage” and subjected her to hours of being beaten and kicked, causing her to fear for her life, the court heard.
In a victim impact statement which she read aloud in court, the woman said she has become “afraid of her own life” since the attack a year ago.
“I have become a different person. I have a lot of anxiety and I struggle to leave the house alone,” she said.
Mountassir, with an address at Mountjoy Square in the city centre, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment in Dublin 8 and assault causing harm on Blackhall Street, Dublin 7 in the early hours of November 13 last year.
At a hearing this week Garda Conall Walsh told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called by three separate witnesses about the attack in different areas of the city before they finally located Mountassir and the woman in Grangegorman.
The court heard that Mountassir met the woman in Temple Bar and they moved in together after a few weeks.
The woman said Mountassir was “so charming and kind” when they first met and that the relationship “moved pretty fast”.
In her statement, she said they went to the city centre on the night in question, stopping at a shop to get four cans of gin and four of lager.
She said Mountassir was talking jealously about “silly things”, and saying people were looking to her.
He walked up to two women and said “I could have any woman I want,” and they continued to argue about jealousy.
The woman then remembered Mountassir slapping her face and her glasses falling off.
A man standing nearby called Mountassir a “scumbag” and told him to stop hitting the woman, but she begged him to leave as she was becoming frightened and didn’t want the situation to escalate.
The woman described Mountassir gripping her and forcing her to the car where he smashed her face with force onto the boot.
“There was blood all over my face. I was in complete shock,” the woman said.
He then forced her into the boot and began starting and stopping the car, before eventually stopping the car and forcing her into the passenger seat.
“He was full of anger, punching my face and body repeatedly, I could not breathe from being punched into the side of the body. He told me to wipe blood off the window, I did what he said,” she said.
The court heard Mountassir grabbed her by the hair and smashed her head off the dashboard, the gear stick, the steering wheel and the passenger door.
The woman begged him to stop but he didn’t care and she was concerned he was going to kill her.
The woman described Mountassir as “entering into a blind rage” and said he kept punching her in the stomach and ribs, ripping the necklace off her neck and her watch from her arm.
He punched the windscreen, breaking it, and drove the car onto the footpath several times, damaging the wheel so he was driving on the rim.
A witness described seeing a man forcing a woman into a car boot and initially shutting the boot closed really hard “like a crazy man” on her foot. This witness called the guards.
A second witness at 1.15 am was on her balcony on Blackhall Street when she saw the accused pull a woman out of the boot and put her into the passenger seat, punching her all the time. She also rang the gardai to report the matter.
A third witness in Grangegorman was awoken by banging at 2.30am and saw a man banging on a car, opening the boot and slamming it and also opening the bonnet and banging it closed hard.
Gardaí found the woman with her face and clothing covered in blood. They also observed blood markings all over the inside passenger door and along the dashboard, the steering wheel and the gearstick.
Mountassir was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and later arrested for these offences.
He initially suggested to gardaí that the woman had been drinking and taking drugs and that she had banged her own head off the steering wheel. He also suggested that a passerby had hit the woman.
Gda Walsh said Mountassir claimed to be Morroccan but was very vague in answering questions and couldn’t give an address.
He took a trial date but later pleaded guilty.
He has no previous convictions in this jurisdiction, but the court heard he is due before the European Arrest Warrant court on Monday as he is wanted in Germany in relation to an arson offence.
Miceál O’Connor BL, defending, said Mountassir had been seeking protection in Ireland and had a hostel address.
Mr O’Connor said Mountassir had been drinking, taking Dalmane and cocaine and smoking cannabis all through that day.
Counsel said the woman went to hospital that evening, was later released and no medical report was available.
The court heard Mountassir was sentenced previously to three years and one month in Germany for arson, but was released and then the sentence was re-imposed.
He was also remanded for part of his sentence to a psychiatric hospital, the court heard.
Mountassir is currently under 23-hour protection in Wheatfield Prison and has no family in Ireland, counsel said.
Judge Orla Crowe asked the State to furnish a medical report and adjourned sentencing to allow the defence obtain a psychiatric report for the accused.
The case will be finalised next December 21.
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