The case was heard at Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court.
Patrick Lavin, 11 Autumn View, Carrick-on-Shannon was convicted of assault causing harm and criminal damage when he appeared before Judge John Aylmer at last week’s sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court.
Mr Lavin, who is in custody in relation to a separate incident, appeared before Court in relation to the incidents that occurred at Main St, Carrick-on-Shannon on July 4, 2017.
Giving evidence Gda Mary Burke told the Court the injured party, Ian McGreevy had been out socialising with his fiancee in Carrick-on-Shannon on the night in question.
Gda Burke stated the injured party and the defendant both entered a Chinese restaurant, separately, shortly after midnight. From viewing CCTV Gda Burke said, “Mr Lavin appeared in an agitated and aggressive state.”
Continuing her evidence Gda Burke said the defendant left the restaurant on his own and crossed Main St and was observed walking to the passenger side of a car that was parked. He attempted to open the door only to discover it was locked and then walked towards the driver's side of the car.
Mr Lavin is seen on CCTV lunging towards McGreevy and biting into his ear lobe
Gda Burke said the driver was in the car and the window was slightly open. Mr Lavin and the driver of the vehicle were observed conversing for several minutes before Mr Lavin became agitated and attempted to pull the driver’s window towards him resulting in the glass shattering before the motorist drove off.
The Court heard Mr Lavin then returned to the Chinese restaurant and was offered assistance by staff as he was bleeding.
Gda Burke said that from viewing CCTV footage, “Mr McGreevy does not interact or engage at any point.”
She added that the witness statement from the owner of the restaurant said Patrick Lavin was saying, “I know who you are.”
Mr Lavin is seen on CCTV lunging towards McGreevy and biting into his ear lobe. He is then observed swinging Mr McGreevy to the ground and repeatedly punching him in the head. Gda Burke said the assault lasted for 15 seconds.
Mr Lavin was arrested on July 28 and detained at Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station. During his first interview he said he had very little recollection of the incident. He said he had been in Sligo and returned by bus where he met a friend.
During interview Mr Lavin said, “I never bit someone in my life. A dog bites, that’s the way I was brought up.”
“I feel ashamed and embarrassed and I’d like to apologise."
He added, “That’s completely out of character,” and later in the interview said, “There must have been some serious s**t going through my head.”
When asked about the incident of criminal damage involving the car he said, “I haven’t a clue.”
During the interview he also said, “I feel ashamed and embarrassed and I’d like to apologise to the two injured parties.”
Mr McGreevy attended his GP the next morning with the medical report stating he was “Alert and orientated but appeared shocked and upset.”
It also stated he had “significant facial injuries” and a “serious laceration” to his ear lobe.
Mr McGreevy was referred to the emergency department at Sligo University Hospital.
Continuing her evidence Gda Burke said Mr Lavin resided in Carrick-on-Shannon with a friend at the time of the assault. He had resided in Carrick-on-Shannon for four years.
13 previous convictions for offences including false imprisonment; assault causing harm; robbery and unlawful possession of drugs
Gda Burke noted Mr Lavin has a total of 13 previous convictions for offences including false imprisonment; assault causing harm; threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour; unlawful seizure of vehicles; robbery and unlawful possession of drugs.
The injured party, Ian McGreevy, addressing the Court said it took seven weeks for his injuries to clear up and he is left with a scar on his ear.
He said the assault has left him wary when out in public saying, “I tend to stay in the corner, out of the way of people. I’m always wary of it happening again and I don’t ever want it to happen again.”
Addressing the Court the defendant, Patrick Lavin, offered an apology for his actions saying, “Firstly I’d like to apologise to Mr McGreevy and his fiancee for what I put them through. There was a lot going through my mind at the time and the drink just topped it off.
“I’m very sorry. I can’t take it back but I am so sorry for what I have done.”
Mr Lavin, who is serving a sentence in Castlerea for a charge of false imprisonment until December 14 said, “I’ve done a lot in prison to better myself.”
He added, “I’ve been dealing with addiction problems. I’m dealing with everything properly. I’m trying to start fresh and be there for my kids.
“I’m sorry for McGreevy and I’m sorry for wasting the Court’s time.”
Gerard Groarke BL, instructed by Martin Burke solicitor, outlined the mitigating circumstances in the case noting that Mr Lavin had been co-operative during interview; the remorse he had shown and the fact that he entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.
Mr Groarke conceded, “It doesn’t take away from the severity of the offence or the severity of the injuries sustained.”
Having heard the evidence Judge John Aylmer noted that he deemed sentences of three and a half years for the assault and two years for the criminal damage to be appropriate.
Judge Aylmer referred to the assault as “A particularly vicious attack.” He added, “Probably the most serious consequence was the psychological impact it has had on Mr McGreevy.”
Judge Aylmer referred to the defendant’s actions on the night in question saying, “It is clear he was out of his mind on drink but that only serves as some of the explanation.”
Referring to the mitigating factors Judge Aylmer said, “He made no effort to deny his involvement or culpability. He must be given full credit for that. He is doing much in prison to rehabilitate himself and that is to his credit.”
Judge Aylmer reduced the sentence for the assault charge to two years and nine months and the criminal damage charge to 16 months.
Both sentences will run concurrently and will commence at the end of the defendant’s current sentence.
The DPP were represented by Donal Keane BL and Noel Farrell, State Solicitor.