LOWELL -- A 38-year-old Dracut man will spend nine months in jail after he went on a rampage in his Hovey Street home last November, choking his aunt and punching his mother in the face when she tried to intervene.

In Lowell District Court on Thursday, Robert Ryan Shaughnessy , of 12 Hovey St., pleaded guilty to four counts of assault and battery and intimidation of a witness in connection with the Nov. 6, 2013 incident. Judge Mark Sullivan sentenced Shaughnessy to 2 1/2 years in jail with nine months to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended for three years while he is on probation.

Prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder and vandalizing property.

According to court documents, Dracut police responded to 12 Hovey St. at 7:55 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2013 for a report of a domestic assault. Upon entering the home, police noted the refrigerator was pulled away from the wall and lying face down in the kitchen with both handles broken off. There was debris scattered on the floor, including a broken broom. In the living room, a glass-topped coffee table was pushed up against the couch.

Shaughnessy's mother, whose face was red and puffy, told police that when she returned home, her son was already home and "in a mood." She said her son has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and uses both drugs and alcohol, according to court documents.

The mother told police that her son was harassing her, so she went into her bedroom to get away from him and allow him to calm down, but he continued to enter her room, calling her names and attempting to antagonize her.


While the mother was in her bedroom, her sister came over to check on her sister and Shaughnessy began to verbally attack her in a threatening manner, yelling and spitting in her face, court documents state.

When the aunt finally told Shaughnessy to "get out of my face," he allegedly grabbed her face with his hands and squeezed until he caused her pain. She was able to push him away, but he allegedly grabbed her ponytail with one hand and grabbed her neck with the other and began to squeeze.

As the aunt struggled to get away, the mother tried to intervene, yelling at her son to stop. He let go of his aunt, then started to go after his mother, pushing her so she fell over the coffee table. When his mother tried to calm him down, he pushed her against a wall then punched her in the face, according to court documents.

The mother grabbed the phone and ran into the bedroom to call the police, when Shaughnessy allegedly wrestled the phone away from her and threw it onto the floor.

The mother and aunt were able to escape the home. Before Shaughnessy left the home, he knocked over the refrigerator.

While police were speaking to the alleged victims, Shaughnessy returned home and was arrested. Both women were treated for their injuries at the scene by EMS workers.

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