An Irish soldier savagely beat a woman unconscious in a random street attack and then bragged about it on social media, only to walk free from court with a suspended sentence. Cathal Crotty (22) of Parkroe Heights, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, mercilessly assaulted Natasha O’Brien (24) on May 29, 2022, blaming her for the attack until CCTV footage exposed his lies. He boasted on Snapchat, “Two to put her down, two to put her out,” referring to the blows he inflicted.

Despite his violent actions and the lifelong trauma endured by Ms. O’Brien, Crotty, described by his superior as an “exemplary” soldier, received no jail time. His superior testified to Crotty’s professionalism, seemingly dismissing the brutality of his actions. Judge Tom O’Donnell acknowledged the severity of the assault but cited Crotty’s clean record and military career in his decision to impose a fully suspended three-year sentence.

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Ms. O’Brien, who suffered severe physical and psychological injuries, expressed her disbelief and frustration, saying the sentence sends a dangerous message that such violence goes unpunished. This leniency has sparked public outrage, highlighting a perceived miscarriage of justice and failure to protect victims of violence.