A 35-year-old Dublin man has been jailed for two years for "ferociously" beating his ex-girlfriend.

Robert Maguire of Colthurst Gardens, Hunting Glen in Lucan in Dublin threatened to kill the 30-year-old woman before kicking and beating her in her home on 14 January 2012..

The Central Criminal Court heard the woman woke up in her bed to find Maguire standing over her and spitting on her.

He threatened to kill her, kicked her and beat her unconscious.

Her children were screaming at the bedroom door.

The court heard the woman and her eldest child, who was nine at the time, were severely traumatised by the attack.

Mr Justice Paul Butler ordered a probation report after the defence submitted Maguire should be assessed for community service.

The judge described it as a very, very serious assault.

He said nothing short of a custodial sentence was required for such a violent attack on an entirely defenceless woman in front of her children.

He sentenced Maguire to four years and suspended the final two.