Man Who Punches, Kicks, Chokes, Imprisons and Threatens to Kill Woman Gets Suspended Sentence

Limerick courthouseStephen O’Donnell is a fine young man from a good family and yet he somehow assaulted his girlfriend,  a fellow student in the Limerick School of Art and Design,  when she found him with a former girlfriend.

Well, what’s a guy to do?  He lost his temper, as you do, but let’s be reasonable.  It’s true that he held the girl against her will.  It’s true that he punched her, kicked her, spat at her, choked her to the point where she came close to losing consciousness and threatened to kill her, but still, he’s a young man of good character, from a good family.

It’s true that he ripped off the girl’s leggings, exposed himself and made sexual remarks as he was assaulting her.

It’s true that, as a result of his assault, the victim was, and remains utterly traumatised, but young Stephen is a decent boy and he comes from a very good background, which is the main thing in these matters.

As his defence counsel explained to the court, it was one of those terrible situations that came about as a result of too much alcohol,  which , as we all know, is always a mitigating factor in a crime.

I’m sorry for driving so fast, Judge, but you see, I was completely drunk.

Oh, that’s all right then.  Why didn’t you say so sooner?  Case struck out.

What were the consequences for his victim?  I don’t know, but I can only imagine that the poor girl was unable to complete her studies to the standard she might have expected and will therefore have to suffer the academic consequences.  I’m sure she’s emotionally traumatised.  What reasonable human being would not be?

Despite finding O’Donnell’s behaviour completely unacceptable and describing what he did as a very nasty type of crime, Judge Carroll Moran decided that the appropriate punishment should be a two-year suspended sentence on all charges.  In imposing the sentence, Judge Moran took into account O’Donnell’s co-operation with the Gardaí, his guilty plea,  his indication of remorse and his good character.

History does not record what Judge Moran thought of the consequences for his victim, but I think it’s fair enough to call anyone who beats a woman a coward and a thug.

What do you think?

Despite all the evidence, I continue to cling to the belief that people are born decent.  This lad changed, somewhere along the way.  I don’t know where and I don’t know when, but it seems to me that in the course of his young life, he must have encountered somebody who thought that beating a woman was acceptable.  Clearly, the message sank in.

The question is, has he learned anything from his suspended sentence?  Does he now understand that it’s wrong to beat another person, and especially somebody who isn’t able to hit you back?

On the face of it, given the information available, I’d have little confidence that he understands this, and I would be inclined to give this boy a wide berth, just to be on the safe side.  After all, the lad has a record of violence, and he is a convicted criminal.





19th May  2014


Facebook correspondence.


— Hi Bocque,

My name is Steve O’Donnell. I’m not sure if you know me but you wrote an article about me last year on your website:

Man Who Punches, Kicks, Chokes, Imprisons and Threatens to Kill Woman Gets Suspended Sentence

I’m writing to you to ask if at all possible could you please remove the article? I am appealing to all of the other sites that wrote articles to do the same.

I made a horrible mistake 4 years ago and have paid for it ever since, in both my personal and professional life. I am not trying to make what I did go away because I understand the nature of it and how wrong I was, i’m simply trying to move on with my life, better myself as a person and leave it in the  past. I often meet people who I thought were friends of mine only to discover that they have heard through gossiping what I had done and some of them have  read articles online also. I’ve had to lose a lot of people around me and going through that on a regular basis is soul destroying. I’ve been working hard  to better myself as a person since the incident and am absolutely certain that my actions on that day will never be repeated as long as I live.

I hope that you can see it in your heart to accept my request as it would mean a huge amount to me and would hopefully not effect the popularity of your  site too much as it is quite an old article.


— I’ve shared your request with my friends, especially those who would be familiar with the background. After I hear what they advise, I’ll consider it  further.

— Thanks for your reply. I’m a little unclear as to why you have taken those actions, is there a number of people who contribute to the decision making for your website?

— I often ask my friends for their opinions before taking action. Do you find that unusual?

— No not at all. Sorry, was just a little unclear. Maybe you can let me know either way with what decision you make. Thanks.

— While we’re waiting for them all to reply, and there have been a few replies, I have to ask you something.

— Yes?

— You beat a girl senseless, isn’t that true?

— Absolutely not.

— You didn’t?

— Do you have any more questions?

— Did you beat a girl?

— I’m not sure what your aim is here, if you wish to have a discussion about this I have no problem obliging, would you like to take my number?

— I’m replying to your correspondence. You did ask me to remove an article and I need to establish the details.

— Not to sound in any way rude towards you but I feel like you are trying to antagonise me slightly and i’d rather not discuss this with you, a complete stranger. I find it already extremely difficult to discuss it with people who are close to me but if do feel like you need certain questioned answered before even considering removing the article then I have no problem having a conversation over the phone with you.

— Stephen, you contacted me, let me remind you. And you are a convicted criminal, after all.

— I’m not sure of the point you’re trying to make?

— Stephen I’m not trying to make any point. You contacted me. You asked me to remove a report of what you did to your victim and I don’t know why I should.

— What did your friends advise?

— You wouldn’t like to know what my friends think of you, especially my daughter who is roughly the same age as your victim.  Stephen, I’ve decided to add this entire conversation to the original article.

— Why is that?

— Well, I suppose your complete lack of empathy for your victim is a start. Your narcissistic self-pity might be another reason.  Both of those reasons.


Elsewhere on Bock: Anthony Lyons

18 thoughts on “Man Who Punches, Kicks, Chokes, Imprisons and Threatens to Kill Woman Gets Suspended Sentence

  1. Is the DPP appealing the leniency of the sentence and is anybody questioning this judge’s ability?

  2. A coward and a thug he certainly is, but it wouldn’t surprise me, if someone with influence pulled a few strings on his behalf, just to help him on his merry way. The best we can hope for, is some poetic justice some day and the sooner the better for the bullyboy.

  3. How broken the system is……… The justice in our country seems only for the criminals who blight it. Woe betide anyone infringing on the rights of the criminal. Its all about money. The lawyers make more money standing up for the rights of criminals than they do fighting for justice for victims. Simple economics are causing travesties every day.

  4. I’m guessing this judge is over 60 or older .Completely out of touch with reality.This girls friends/relatives could still make life very uncomfortable for this thug by pointing him out to people and letting them know what he did and is capable of doing in the future.In this instance this is the course I would take as a form of redress.Nothing illegal of course,just keep it fresh in people minds.

  5. Absolutely not. Just look a David Attenborough for example, still as lucid and enthusiastic as ever at ninety seven years.
    Maybe it’s a case of some people never being in touch with reality, including judges.

  6. The legal system is a joke… criminals & your commom scumbag… are walking away from the crimes they commit…
    While they miss out on the opertunity of entering the University of Crime (i.e an Irish Prison) by the Judge who deems that their crime isn’t worth the sentence they are set free to roam the streets in learning or perfecting their trade of crime..
    And I think that line “Crime doesn’t Pay” should be re-written… “Pay Crime or Else”

  7. Just another good case for bringing back public punishment. Like a day or two in the stocks for the first offense for example? If he does it again, then you just hang the little SOB.

    Or am I being too harsh?

  8. All the more reason for punishment. If he came from a good family then he should know better. Ridiculous

  9. I think so. None of us here wants to reintroduce the death sentence, no matter how much our inner caveman demands it. The death penalty simply degrades any country that implements it.

  10. ‘A Good family’? Not sure exactly what that means, a family is just a system and if it works it could be deemed good regardless of how it works. Lots of families depending on their whereabouts could be seen as good but who knows what goes on behind closed curtains or what abuses are occurring. But if I m getting the premise of the article right I agree in that if he came from what could be deemed a bad family he’d have done time and that s a disgrace. I hope the girl in question finds love and happiness, that sounds like terrible ordeal she had to endure.

  11. What a message this judge has sent to domestic terrorists,!!

    It happens so often in our court corporations here.

    Listen to the solicitors, barristers and judges and their wording ” all women in Ireland are feeble minded” Ah sure bless them all the same. Also the training of judges in 2013 is to see the female victim of DV to blame. Its an old myth from the Roman church.
    Let us add another bit..St Augustine said it was good for women to suffer for the sin of being born female..coming from Eve ill Eve and her husband/partner is right to beat her.
    Women were are are deemed less evolved than men too.
    The Roman church runs the courts in Eire. Red Mass annually as proof.
    In my opinion the batterer above had influence behind the scenes…is that what good family really means?

    How awful it is for the victim and we hear no impact statement here.She is of no importance in the eyes of the law.

    Now the world can see how we treat our wombmen in Eire.

  12. “What a message this judge has sent to domestic terrorists”

    Pretty sure it’s the same message he always sends: women in Ireland can be assaulted and their attackers will receive no meaningful punishment.

  13. I thought I heard some time ago Bock isn’t a single person anymore, more like an entity. A bit like that Anonymous group except with a little less nonsense.
    The nerve of that fella to contact you with all that self-pitiable swagger. So of course the jury is in on that verdict despite what the Judge Moran said…

    Now if he presented some sort of evidence of repentance like charity work or some other related to prevent incidents like his from ever happening again then hmmmm… maybe I’d change my mind. Not sure about the Bock.
    But it is very easy to say oh I am trying to be better or whatnot. Show me what you’ve DONE, and none of this make believe bull about trying to move on. Actions please, not words.

    PS I may be aintiquated for my age – I just hate men who hit women! But I will extend that to “I hate people who hit others, period!”.

  14. Just thought id add something to this. I encountered this man recently doing some work for him and he thought it would be amusing to himself and friends to leave a threatening voicemail for me and my partner to hear. Not the actions of a man who is trying to move on with his life.
    When I confronted him in mail about it he was sincere in his apology and showed remorse for what he done. But still after reading about this case I am reluctant to have more dealings with him as he may be one of them people who acts without thinking and then uses his charm to apologise and show people that he really is a “good” person.

  15. If Aaron is right about this thug, I think he may be a psychopath and people
    should be very wary of him.

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