Man who dragged his ex-partner along road in 'horrific' attack receives suspended sentence

Man Who Dragged His Ex-Partner Along Road In 'Horrific' Attack Receives Suspended Sentence
William Galvin, 33, of Cloonloughlin, Mount Talbot, Co. Roscommon, pleaded guilty at this week's sessions of Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm.
Share this article

Tom Tuite

A father of two who dragged an ex-partner along a road, leaving her traumatised and with cuts and burn marks during a "horrific" attack, has received a 21-month suspended sentence with "rigidly enforced" conditions.

William Galvin, 33, of Cloonloughlin, Mount Talbot, Co. Roscommon, pleaded guilty at this week's sessions of Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm after an eight-week relationship with the woman.


She revealed that Galvin told her he would treat her like a dog as he pulled her along the ground in a row over a vacuum cleaner, which he removed from her home.

In her victim impact statement, the woman told how she had to get gardaí to make him delete a phone app he used to watch her through cameras installed in her home.

The attack happened at Manor Valley, Monksland, Athlone, Co. Roscommon on November 8th 2021.

Judge Keenan Johnson noted Galvin has since been diagnosed as being bipolar and prescribed medication, which significantly reduced his risk of reoffending.


The sentence was suspended once he did not reoffend in the next five years and obeyed several conditions.

Judge Keenan Johnson also ordered him to pay her just over €7,500 and never to contact the woman or her family.

He warned Galvin of the stringent terms, which are to be "rigidly enforced", and that breaking them would result in imprisonment.

The court heard their relationship ended about two weeks before the assault, but Galvin kept a key to her home, entered the property and took a Dyson vacuum cleaner.


Galvin told the court he was sorry and ashamed. He said he accepted that they had broken up and wouldn't contact her again.

The court heard the injured party also thought other items, including jewellery and some watches, were missing afterwards.

A neighbour told her what happened, and she went to where Galvin was living then and saw the vacuum cleaner in his van.

She went to retrieve it when "the accused grabbed the hoover to prevent her from taking it and in the course of the altercation dragged her along the road causing her burns to her back, and cuts to her knees and hands."


Galvin was arrested, made admissions, and acknowledged it was wrong.

The woman furnished an impact statement to the court. Judge Johnson remarked that it was "a horrific experience for her, and it negatively impacted her and her children, and it took her a long time to get over it".

The most serious part of it was the psychological effect because Galvin had a key to her house and continued to contact her after the incident.

The judge noted she managed to move after counselling and hoped the accused got help for his issues.


Judge Johnson described the crime as "absolutely despicable", adding, "The message has to go out loud and clear that that type of offending is not going to be tolerated under any circumstances."

The Probation Service assessed Galvin as being at moderate risk of offending. A pre-sentence report highlighted issues about his ability to understand social boundaries, negative peers, abuse of alcohol and drugs, and lack of formal employment or financial independence.

The report also cited Galvin's failure to deal with the death of his mother when he was 16 and the recent diagnosis. It also outlined that he initially had limited insight into the consequences of his actions but understood better following engagement with the service.

The court heard he worked on the family farm but had also done a barber training course and had good family support. Galvin stopped taking illicit drugs and is now engaging with mental health services, and the court was furnished with a doctor's report indicating a recent bipolar diagnosis.

It was clear, the judge said, that if the accused stayed off illegal substances and alcohol and continued to engage with mental health service and probation service, his risk of reoffending would reduce, and he could become a contributing member of society.

The judge said Galvin addressed the risk factors. He took into account that the accused had two young children with other partners, and incarceration would negatively impact that relationship.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of up to five years; the judge held that this case ranked mid-range because the victim did not need medical assistance and fully recovered, and he noted the guilty plea.

Judge Johnson set a headline sentence of two years and six months, which he reduced to one year and nine months and suspended with "stringent" conditions to foster rehabilitation.

Galvin must submit to the supervision of the "Probation" Service for 18 months, follow all directions given about addiction and mental health issues, take all medication as directed by doctors, and, for restorative justice, pay €7,530 to his victim over the next three years.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800-341 900, email or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01-554 3811, email for support and information.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by