Sunday, November 22, 2009

Barbarian "boyfriend" sentenced to 12 years for eye gouging woman

Published Date: 21 November 2009


A JEALOUS man who gouged out his former partner's eye and threw it over the balcony of a high-rise flat was jailed for 12 years yesterday for what a judge described as a crime of almost medieval barbarity.

Natalie Farrell, 27, had broken up with Francis Murphy, 26, and was living with another man when he went to her home and attacked them. The eye had been "dangling" after the attack and she thought Murphy then wiped a hair from her cheek and put it over the balcony of the eighth floor of Dalfield Court, Dundee. It was only when she went downstairs and a friend found the eye that she realised what had happened.

Murphy had admitted gouging out the eye. He was also found guilty of twice attempting to murder Ms Farrell on 26 May, once by strangling her and then by trying to throw her over the balcony.

Solicitor-advocate Iain Paterson, defending, said the offences had stemmed from a combination of tangled emotions, drink and drugs. He said Murphy was struggling to come to terms with what had happened.

The judge, John Morris, QC, told Murphy: "You were convicted of crimes which are almost medieval in their barbarity and which would make any right-thinking person recoil in horror."

Ms Farrell told the trial that she and Murphy had been partners for ten years, but they had separated and Paul Stanton, 31, moved in a couple of days before the incidents. Murphy did not take the split well, she said. She said that she had been expecting a visitor and opened her door when the buzzer sounded, but it was Murphy. He was "under the influence of drugs and heavily intoxicated with drink".

After the attack the police and an ambulance arrived and a friend found the eye and gave it to paramedics. However, the hospital was unable to re-attach it, Ms Farrell added.

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