A 34-year-old man has been jailed for 13 years for what was described as a vicious and terrifying attack on his defenceless and vulnerable partner who was 32 weeks' pregnant at the time.

Dean Paget, who was homeless, punched 32-year-old Lisa Ward, viciously kicked her in the abdomen and dragged her by the hair around the streets of Dublin in the early hours of 25 April 2021.

Their daughter, who they decided to name Ruby Rose, was confirmed dead at the Rotunda Hospital later that day.

Paget pleaded guilty to attempted murder and charges of intentionally ending the life of a foetus, false imprisonment and causing harm to Ms Ward were also taken into account.

They were both addicted to drugs and living in a tent on Montague Lane at the time.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said what Paget did to his partner was degrading and humiliating with no regard for her dignity as a human being or the mother of his child.

The judge described it as a "very sad and tragic case" and he said it was a further tragedy that Ms Ward at such a vulnerable stage of her pregnancy was living in such desperate circumstances.

The judge said the attack began because Paget said he had seen Ms Ward with another man.

She was subjected to a continuing series of vicious assaults as well as threats to her own life and the life of her baby as they made their way from Dame Street to Montague Lane.

In CCTV footage viewed by the court, Paget could be seen striking Ms Ward repeatedly, kicking her viciously in the abdomen and dragging her by the hair in violence the judge said was "severe and terrifying".

Some of the footage had audio in which he could be heard threatening to kill her and threatening to "rip the child" out of her, addressing the baby by her name.

The court heard when they returned to the tent, Ms Ward said Paget was kicking her in the stomach, pulling her hair and choking her.

When she started shouting, he punched her in the face and told her not to scream and shout.

The effect on Ms Ward, the judge said, was "harrowing".

After managing to escape from the tent, she later presented to the Rotunda Hospital where doctors confirmed the child was dead.

The court heard the cause of death was placental abruption where the placenta came away from the mother's womb.

This was unsurvivable for the baby and likely to have been caused by the assaults, the court heard.

Ms Ward had multiple bruises to her face and body.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Ward said the assaults would live with her for the rest of her life.

She would never get over what had happened and nothing would make it better she said.

She said all she had ever wanted was her little girl and she did not know how she was going to face life with the effect it had on her.

The judge said aggravating features of the case included the nature, intensity and duration of the vicious violence on Ms Ward accompanied to the threats to her life and to her baby.

He said the ending of Ruby Rose's life was achieved using the most awful violence in a terrifying ordeal.

Paget inflicted a very high degree of physical injury, as well as emotional pain and suffering, the judge said.

No weapons were used, he said, but the devastation that could be caused by the repeated kicking of a defenceless, pregnant woman could be as dangerous and potentially lethal as if he had used a weapon.

In mitigation, he said Paget's guilty plea had saved Ms ward from giving evidence, he had expressed genuine remorse and there were "some positive signs" although no evidence of substantial steps to deal with his drug and alcohol addictions.

He also took into account the appalling violence Paget had witnessed as a child as well as his good record and his efforts to reconnect with his former partner with whom he had five children.

He imposed a 14-year jail sentence but suspended the final year on condition that he address the two serious issues of violence and addiction for his own sake, as well as the sake of his family and community.

Ms Ward sobbed throughout the sentencing and thanked the judge as she left court.