By Jessica Magee
A Dublin teenager who falsely imprisoned his partner and subjected her to nine assaults over two months last summer has been jailed for 18 months.
Cameron Curtis (19) of Finglas Road, Finglas, pleaded guilty to assaulting Alannah Corrigan (20) causing her harm on July 19, 2022 while the two were staying overnight at The Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.
He further admitted seven counts of assault causing harm and one count of false imprisonment of Ms Corrigan on August 12, 13, 14 and 16 at various locations in Binary Hub, Bonham Street in Dublin 8.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Curtis kicked, punched and slapped Ms Corrigan repeatedly during the assaults, causing severe bruising all over her body.
He also grabbed and dragged his girlfriend by the hair, spat in her face, squeezed her neck in a chokehold and threatened to kill her and smash a glass bottle over her head.
At a hearing, Judge Orla Crowe said Curtis committed a series of repeated assaults over four weeks, with an escalation of the violence meted out to Ms Corrigan.
Judge Crowe said Ms Corrigan couldn’t breathe and thought she was going to die when Curtis had her in a chokehold and that medical photos showed the severe bruising all over her body. A victim impact statement by Ms Corrigan was not read aloud.
The judge noted that Curtis had no previous convictions and had had a very difficult childhood where he was exposed to domestic violence such that he was taken into care.
“He has been visiting upon his partner that which he witnessed in his young life,” said Judge Crowe.
Barry White SC, defending, had earlier said: “Violence begets violence, regrettably,” before adding that it was no excuse for this type of behaviour.
Curtis was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, with the final 12 months suspended in light of mitigating factors including Curtis’ early guilty plea.
The sentence was backdated to September 19 last year, to take account of time Curtis has spent in custody.
Detective Garda Mark Costello agreed with counsel for the defence that Ms Corrigan was a “hostile witness” and that herself and Curtis remained in a relationship.
The court heard that Curtis accused Ms Corrigan of cheating on him and became violent when she would not disclose her Snapchat password to him.
Gda Costello told Simon Matthews BL, prosecuting, that Ms Corrigan had booked them a room in the Royal Marine Hotel for one night when Curtis accused her of cheating and threatened to smash a glass Kopparberg cider bottle over her head if she didn’t tell him who she was cheating with.
Ms Corrigan later told gardaí that Curtis hit her face 10 or 11 times with his fist and that she was screaming throughout the assault.
Staff members came to the scene and described Curtis as “aggressive and rude”, the court heard.
Gardaí were alerted and took a report but Ms Corrigan did not wish to proceed with the complaint.
She went to hospital and was treated with anti-inflammatories and paracetamol, the court heard.
Some weeks later, the couple were staying in Ms Corrigan’s sister’s room at student accommodation at Binary Hub on Bonham Street when Curtis again assaulted the victim.
Ms Corrigan later told gardaí that Curtis slapped her in the face when she wouldn’t disclose her Snapchat password, before calming down and having what she described as “periods of normality” before he became violent again.
They couple slept for a while before Ms Corrigan woke to him grabbing her by the neck, demanding her password and dragging her by the hair to the ground.
He kicked her on both arms and legs, punched her head and jaw several times, slapped her and spat in her face before calming down again, the court heard.
Ms Corrigan said he later accused her of cheating again and punched her in the face and then the following morning apologised for the injuries he had caused before becoming violent again.
Ms Corrigan said Curtis pulled her by her hair around the bathroom and then punched her in the face while he was on the phone to his mother, causing her to bleed heavily.
She said a period of normality followed for two hours before Curtis again became violent, knelt on Ms Corrigan’s chest and said: “I’m going to kill you.”
The victim was dragged by her hair and neck into the bathroom, thrown on the wet floor and locked in for 45 minutes.
After Ms Corrigan was released from the bathroom, Curtis threatened her with a knife, calmed down for half an hour, then grew violent again, throwing a mobile phone at her head.
He kicked his girlfriend on both legs, slapped her face, stamped on her and wrapped his arms around her neck in what she described as a “chokehold” during an assault lasting over half an hour, the court heard.
At one point while Ms Corrigan lay crying on the bed saying, “Please stop hurting me,” Curtis started crying and said: “Look at what you made me do. You’re making me out to be like my Da and I hated my Da for what he used to do to my Ma.”
Ms Corrigan told gardaí that she became incredibly scared and believed she was going to die when Curtis locked her in the bathroom a second time and said he was going to get a scissors.
The court heard she managed to get out of the bathroom and locked him out of the bedroom but he kicked the door down and then left when she started screaming.
Gardaí attended the scene and Ms Corrigan was treated for her injuries which were photographed.
Some days later, Ms Corrigan was again attacked by Curtis in the room next door, as the previous room was unhabitable because of the damage done during the previous assaults.
He kicked and punched her repeatedly, accused her of cheating, demanded her Snapchat password, dragged her by the hair and strangled her by squeezing her throat until she couldn’t breathe and felt she was going to get sick.
Ms Corrigan managed to raise the alarm and gardaí arrived and arrested Curtis.
He was deemed unfit for interview for a lengthy period and then underwent six garda interviews, making certain admissions to offences on August 16 but none on previous dates.
He has no previous convictions.
Barry White SC, defending Curtis, said there was a lot of domestic violence in his client’s background from his father towards his mother.
Counsel said jealousy played a “major role” in the offending although again it wasn’t an excuse.
He said Curtis is unlikely to come before the court again and is still in a relationship with Ms Corrigan.
Judge Crowe ordered Curtis to remain under probation supervision for two years on his release from prison and to engage with all offence-focused work as recommended, including anger management and treatment programmes for domestic violence.
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