Perpetrators of serious assaults have been warned by the local District Judge that they will face prison if such occurrences continue.
Judge Kevin Kilrane issued the stern warning following evidence in a case involving yet another Section 3 assault causing harm taking place on the street in Carrick-on-Shannon
Martin Nolan, 45 Railway Meadows, Townspark, Longford pleaded guilty last week to assault causing harm to Dylan Shanagher on February 16, 2020 at Main St, Carrick-on-Shannon.
Outlining the facts of the case, Sgt Michael Gallagher said Garda Mannion was on duty at 1.30am on that date when he observed the defendant jumping up and down like a boxer in front of the victim and his girlfriend. He punched the victim in the head and face a number of times before running off. The victim was covered in blood but did not go for treatment and went to his doctor the following day.
Garda Mannion pursued the defendant and arrested him at lower Bridge St.
The victim said he and his girlfriend had been walking down Bridge St when three men began a row with them. He had never seen the men before. He was struck with three boxes into the nose and mouth. He was in complete shock at the incident. His girlfriend was unhurt.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Shanagher said he had headaches and severe bruising as a result of the attack. He is very sceptical about going out now and is looking over his shoulder for fear of another attack.
The court heard Mr Nolan, now aged 24, has previous convictions for a public order offence from Longford District Court on January 22, 2019 for which he was fined €250. He was also convicted of having no insurance at Longford District Court on June 28, 2016 for which he was disqualified for two years.
Solicitor John McNulty said Mr Nolan has had a difficult upbringing as his father passed away when he was 14.
He described the events as “completely outrageous and unacceptable” and said his client knows that.
Mr Nolan has had difficulty with alcohol and other substances which he has tackled now. Mr McNulty said he was in with a bad crowd but he has taken steps to address the underlying issues which he had.
He added that Mr Nolan has no previous convictions for violence. He offered a forthright apology in court and was willing to offer compensation to his victim.
Judge Kilrane said he was going to record a conviction in this case and stated the only thing saving Mr Nolan from prison is serious compensation to his victim.
“This was a serious assault. The victim was walking down the street with his girlfriend bothering nobody and those three people from Longford come down the street and pick a fight,” he said.
He described the defendant as “jumping up and down like a crazy person” before delivering “three or four serious blows to the victim's face causing nasty injuries.”
“I've spoken before about those Section 3 assaults. Anyone who engages in those assaults, prison is going to follow unless there are mitigating circumstances and compensation,” the Judge said.
He took the view there are very few mitigating circumstances in this case.
Judge Kilrane said he had no doubt the defendant was “fuelled by alcohol and perhaps other substances” which would not be excused in respect of Section 3 assaults. Victims, he said, receive serious injuries from the blows they receive.
“They have to stop, and they will stop,” he said, and warned that if such assaults continue then imprisonment will follow.
“I don't mind what the Circuit Court judge does, I have to do my duty and my duty will be that anyone, especially with previous convictions, then imprisonment will follow,” Judge Kilrane said.
He said in this case the defendant has previous convictions which takes away from mitigation.
“The only mitigation factor is his plea and his alleged expression of remorse,” the Judge said.
He directed that compensation of €5,000 be produced on March 23 next but said there will be a conviction because of his previous record. “It will not involve imprisonment if he comes forward with that compensation,” he noted.
The defendant was remanded on continuing bail until that date.