Conviction for assault following grad night celebrations in Mohill

Conviction for assault following grad night celebrations in Mohill

A Longford man avoided a custodial sentence when he appeared before Tuesday's sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court for sentencing in relation to an assault at Planxty Maguire's, Mohill on May 22-23, 2014.

Outlining the background to the case Sgt Michael Gallagher said students from Moyne College had earlier in the night in question attended a grad mass and there was later a celebration held in Planxty Maguire's.

Sgt Gallagher recalled the injured party, Marcus Williams was present on the night in question and had been drinking but was not said to have been intoxicated.

Mr Williams was approached by the defendant, Martin Cassidy, Farclromin, Ballinamuck, Co Longford, in an area of Planxty Maguire's known as the Shot Bar. Sgt Gallagher told the Court, the injured party, “Got a series of boxes to the side of his face.
“He wasn't able to identify who hit him but witnesses were able to identify Mr Cassidy.”

Mr Cassidy and Mr Williams were separated by security staff and friends with Mr Williams then making his way in the direction of the smoking area and he was followed by the defendant.

Mr Williams' girlfriend later told Gardai she saw the defendant hit him in the smoking area with a clenched fist, noting he was “in a rage.”

Security staff and friends were again forced to intervene with bouncers taking the injured Mr Williams to one side.
The following day the injured party attended Mullingar Hospital for treatment.

Outlining details of the Garda investigation into the assault Gda Gallagher said Mr Cassidy was “Very forthright and admitted he hit the injured party. The accused felt his brother was being bullied by the defendant. He freely admitted there were two incidents on the night. He admitted on both occasions he struck a number of blows.”

The Court heard there was no CCTV footage of the assault available but details of the injuries received were outlined. The medical report referenced a left supraorbital rim fracture while he was also left with a scar from ear to ear.

Prior to reading Mr Williams' victim impact statement Sgt Gallagher stated €2,000 compensation had previously been paid and there was a further €3,000 in Court. He also noted Mr Cassidy had received no Garda attention prior to or since the incident.

The victim impact statement revealed the injured party was 17 at the time of the assault and it detailed how the events of the night in question have affected him physically, psychologically and financially.

The Court heard the injured party was left with a 30cm scar having received in excess of 30 staples and stitches which he feels has a serious impact when people meet him for the first time. The statement also referred to flashbacks and nightmares the injured party suffered from.

Keith O'Grady BL, addressed the Court on behalf of the defendant saying, “This was never a case that was going to be fought.”

Outlining Mr Cassidy's previous and subsequent good character, Mr O'Grady added, “I ask you to deal with the case without a custodial sentence. I say it doesn't help in any way.”

Having heard the evidence Judge John Aylmer viewed the offence to be on the higher end of the scale but praised the defendant for his previous “impeccable character.”

Judge Aylmer expressed the view the offence was serious enough for a three year prison sentence which would be reduced to two based on the mitigating circumstances.

Giving his ruling he stated, “With some hesitation I deem it appropriate to give Mr Cassidy a second chance.”

Judge Aylmer imposed a two year sentence which is suspended for a period of two years upon entering a bond of €100 to keep the peace.”

The State were represented by Donal Keane BL and State Solicitor Noel Farrell.

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