Hit girlfriend in ‘domestic incident’

A 24-year-old man struck a former girlfriend in her mouth, spat at her and caused e1,200 damage to the house she was living in appeared on charges at Dundalk Court on Wednesday.

A 24-year-old man struck a former girlfriend in her mouth, spat at her and caused e1,200 damage to the house she was living in appeared on charges at Dundalk Court on Wednesday.

Robert Ashenden, with an address at Castletara, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan admitted charges of assault causing harm and criminal damage. The court was told that the charges arose out of a “domestic incident” at a house at Rockfield Manor on November 18 2011.

The court was told that Ashenden discovered that the relationship was “not exclusive” and then he spat at her and struck her on the mouth causing what was described as a “slight injury”. He had also punched walls in the house and caused the damage. He took the woman’s phone worth e300 but this was recovered.

Gardai found him in a drunken state when they went to the house. He struggled with them and had to be pepper sprayed. One Garda received a slight shoulder injury.

The court heard that defendant has 11 previous convictions and is currently serving a jail term for drugs possession.

Solicitor Conor MacGuill told Judge William Hamill that defendant had gone to visit the woman and “was given to understand that the relationship was not exclusive”. He had overreacted, he said.

His family had come up with e500 in compensation and it was expected a further e700 would be available. References received from his former employers said there was work available for him when he got out of prison. The judge said he would consider an alternative to prison and adjourned the case for a community service report.