A Donegal chiropractor who broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and assaulted her has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Kevin Ginty (46), St Columbas Terrace, Letterkenny, pleaded guilty to burglary and assault at the woman’s home on April 4, 2010.
At the Central Criminal Court today, Mr Justice Paul Carney said he was taking into account the fact that the accused pleaded guilty and that there was a lack of “any relevant” previous convictions.
However, he said he was also taking into consideration the fact the incident had a serious effect on the victim.
“A woman is entitled to rely on the safety and security of her own bed in her home,” said the judge.
He imposed a five-year jail sentence, backdated to last Monday, when the defendant went into custody.
The court heard last week heard that Helen McEvily (33) was at home after a night out when Kevin Ginty (46) climbed in through her sitting room window. She managed to leave the house and call the gardaí.
Sergeant Martin Finnan told Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, that Ms McEvily was making her way to a neighbour’s house and was on the phone again to local gardaí when the line went dead. Ginty wrapped his arm around her neck and dragged her back into the house.
He put the woman at the bottom of the stairs and struck her head off the bottom step before dragging her up to her bedroom.
The gardaí called her phone again but Ginty took it, impersonated a woman’s voice and told officers the victim was at a disco.
Sgt Finnan said Ginty then left the house and she called the gardaí again. When officers arrived at Ms McEvily’s home, Ginty drove up to the house and was arrested for drink driving.
Ms McEvily was left with bruising to her inner arm, upper and lower back and buttocks. There were also abrasions on her breast and chest area and scratches to her left ankle and sole of her left foot.
He has one previous minor conviction as well as the drink driving offence at the woman’s home.
Ms McEvily told the court that a part of her did not survive that night.
“I am not the same mother, I am not the same sister,” she said, adding that she has had to attend counselling. She said she has trouble sleeping at night and feels paranoid about any noise or movements.
Ms McEvily said everything in her life now revolves around the fact that she was attacked.
“I can barely remember what it is to have a normal life. It is easier to accept how my life is now rather than continuing to fight to try and get back to a person that no longer exists,” the woman continued.
She said she has since moved house and has installed personal alarms.
“This has incident has prevented me moving on with my life, to me I am no longer living, I survive,” Ms McEvily said.
Sgt Finnan agreed with Gerard Clarke SC, defending that Ms McEvily took out a restraining order on Ginty to prevent him from going near her home or workplace and from contacting her in any way.
He accepted that Ginty has “operated under this restriction” and that his client is “under no illusion” that their relationship is over and he is no longer welcome in her house.
Sgt Finnan accepted that the Ginty and Ms McEvily had been in an “on and off” sexual relationship since October 2007 and had sex two days before he broke into her home.
Mr Clarke told Mr Justice Carney that his client came from a highly respected and well regarded family in Letterkenny.