Jail for man who bit stranger “in an act of savagery”

by Gazette Reporter
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A 26-year-old man who bit a stranger “in an act of savagery” after overreacting to a minor altercation and separately bit his own pregnant partner’s face has been jailed for three years.

Dylan Fogarty also threatened and harassed his now former partner in a series of phone calls.

Fogarty, of Moorefield Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to a man at Dame Street, Dublin  on October 15, 2017.

Fogarty also pleaded guilty to assault of his former partner at his home on date in April 2019, criminal damage of a plasterboard wall at her home in June 2019 and harassment at various locations on dates between April and November 2019. He has five previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan said in the first offence Fogarty seemed to have over-reacted “to put it mildly” while intoxicated after “some small altercation” with the victim by biting and beating him.

He said in the second set of offences he had assaulted, harassed and terrorised his ex-partner. He said Fogarty appeared to have great difficulty with anger control when drinking or taking drugs.

Judge Nolan imposed concurrent sentences totalling three years in relation to all the offences. He ordered Fogarty not to have contact with his former partner for a period of ten years.

Garda Gareth Mitchell told Grainne O’Neill BL, prosecuting, that the male victim was on his way home in the early hours of the morning when he saw a man arguing with another person.

He said the next thing he recalled was being on the ground and shouting at a man to get off his neck.  The victim had been punched and bitten with a piece of flesh missing from his neck.

The man initially thought it was a superficial wound but later attended for medical attention where he was treated for a fractured nose and referred to a plastic surgeon.

Fogarty was identified as the assailant from CCTV footage of the incident.

Gda Mitchell agreed with Emmet Nolan BL, defending, that the victim had bumped off Fogarty’s companion in a minor way and Fogarty reacted in an unacceptable manner. The garda agreed alcohol was a significant factor.

The court heard in relation to the second set of offences that Fogarty’s former partner described him as quite controlling after she moved in with him. She said he had drink and drug problems which caused him to be more aggressive.

On one occasion while she was pregnant Fogarty came home from the pub after having had an argument, bit her on the face and flung her across the landing. On another date he punched a hole in the wall of her mother’s house.

The court heard he made a series of phone calls to her in which he made threats including to burn her or her mother’s home. She was in fear, believing the threats would be carried out.

Victim impact statements in both cases were handed into court and read by the judge.

The prosecuting garda in the second case agreed with Mr Nolan that the relationship between the pair was quite toxic and tempestuous.

Mr Nolan said what had taken place in Dame Street was “an act of savagery.” He said Fogarty had written a letter of apology to the court and taken responsibility for his actions.

He said Fogarty’s behaviour towards his former partner was appalling but there was a total acknowledgement of his wrongdoing and expression of remorse.

Mr Nolan said Fogarty had been clean of drugs since going into custody, acknowledging he had a problem. He was attending educational courses and an anger management program.

Counsel submitted his client was a man trying to focus on his future and asked the court the allow him to continue on his path to rehabilitation.

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