A man and his two daughters have been sentenced to suspended prison terms after video footage of the sisters beating two women was shared on social media.
Ichael Lawrence, 55, filmed his daughter Jessica Maughan, 28, attacking her own mother-in-law, Mary Maughan, 65, as the elderly woman left a doctor’s appointment.
He also captured his other daughter Marie Stokes, 31, attacking Mary’s daughter Rosie while Rosie was in her car waiting to pick up her mother.
The court heard that while the women have recovered physically from the attack, they are still suffering psychologically from the humiliation of the attacks, which were posted on YouTube and subsequently viewed 3,500 times.
Lawrence and Maughan, both of Rathvilly Drive, Finglas, Dublin and Stokes of Archers Wood, Clonee, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault and causing damage in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 30 September 2021.
Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL, defending Lawrence, asked the court to accept that her client never posted the footage to social media and didn’t even know how to upload the footage.
She said her client was “deeply ashamed” of his behavior. She said there were difficulties in Jessica Maughan’s marriage to the victim’s son. The man had left his daughter. They had four children together and she was pregnant with their fifth child at the time.
“He felt his daughter was being dishonored, which led to the irrational insanity that came over him,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
The lawyer accepted that her client’s decision to record the attack was “strange” and admitted he could be clearly heard encouraging his two daughters to hit the women. She described this behavior as “depraved”.
She filed a series of testimonials in court describing Lawrence as a good neighbor who goes to mass every day. She said her client had offered the victims 1,000 euros, but they would not take the money.
Ms O’Callaghan said “society will look at the video and say my client deserves a prison sentence,” but she asked the court to accept that Lawrence interfered in a misguided way to defend his daughter.
Judge Martin Nolan said the family’s motivation for the attack was “known only to them” before calling the attack “disgraceful” and “malicious”.
“Obviously they had their reasons, but it’s not acceptable to behave like that. The situation was exacerbated and the humiliation of the victims greatly increased by the footage circulating on social media,” continued Judge Nolan.
After hearing evidence last Wednesday, he adjourned to sentencing this morning.
Judge Nolan had remanded Marie Stokes and Michael Lawrence pending sentencing, but allowed Jessica Maughan to remain on bail.
He said today he had decided not to jail the father and two daughters before giving them two years suspended sentences.
“If this were repeated again, or anything like that, it would be brought back to court and you’re going to go to jail — those two ladies didn’t deserve what you did,” Judge Nolan said, addressing Lawrence Maughan directly and Stokes.
He also ordered that they each hand over €1,000 to the investigating Garda, which he was to give to a charity in the area where he was stationed, after admitting that none of the victims would take the money.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/father-filmed-daughter-attacking-her-own-mother-in-law-as-older-woman-left-doctors-appointment-court-hears-42055668.html Father filmed daughter attacking her own mother-in-law as older woman left doctor’s appointment, court says