A defendant who allegedly licked his bloody hands and declared “I love the taste of a man's blood” after a serious assault on a friend, has been ordered to return to court with €9,000 to pay for the dental treatment his victim now requires.
Jason Boylan, Gubnageer, Rossinver, Co Leitrim faced a summons for assault causing harm to Ryan Kerins in Rossinver on July 14, 2019.
It was noted that the defendant had already paid €2,000 towards the cost of emergency dental treatment following the assault but Manorhamilton District Court heard it will take a further €9,000 to pay for implants to be inserted in his victim's mouth.
Mr Boylan was on a night out in a pub in Rossinver with the victim, Ryan Kerins and another friend on July 13, 2019.
At some point during the night difficulty arose over the alleged theft of a wallet and bank card belonging to Mr Kerins.
A falling out occurred over the wallet, which Mr Boylan was found in possession of later that night and after the parties went home a number of phone calls were exchanged before the victim and Mr Boylan agreed to meet at Rossinver Church between 5am and 6am.
The victim was driven to the church by a third party who had been with Mr Boylan and Mr Kerins that night and who later witnessed the assault.
Giving a summation of what was recorded in the victim's statement, Sgt Mick Gallagher noted that when the victim crossed over the bridge at the side of the church he met the defendant who “put out his hand”.
The victim was of the understanding that Mr Boylan was offering to shake his hand before handing over the wallet. Instead, Mr Boylan grabbed Mr Kerins and lifted him over his head and dropped him on the ground before assaulting him.
Mr Kerins, said Sgt Gallagher, was knocked unconscious and only came to his senses when he found himself back in his friend's car, with his front teeth gone and blood coming from his mouth.
In his statement Mr Kerins said that he saw Mr Boylan standing at the driver's door of his friend's car with his hands covered in blood. Mr Boylan was licking the blood and allegedly said “I love the taste of another man's blood”.
The third party, who witnessed the assault after he drove Mr Kerins to meet Mr Boylan at the church described in his statement how Mr Boylan had lifted Mr Kerins “two feet in the air and dropped him”.
He said that when Mr Kerins had gotten back in the car he had blood coming from his ear and his mouth and Mr Boylan had blood on his hands.
When Mr Boylan was questioned by gardai in relation to the incident he denied that he had stolen the wallet belonging to Mr Kerins earlier that evening and claimed that he only arrived at the church because Mr Kerins had rang him saying otherwise “he'd smash my windows in”.
He said he had intended to tell Mr Kerins that he found the wallet but said he hadn't got a chance to because Mr Kerins began “shouting abuse”.
“He (Mr Kerins) put his right hand on my throat and his left hand on my right shoulder and I had to defend myself,” he claimed in his statement.
When questioned about licking blood from his hands following the assault and making comments that he “liked the taste of another man's blood”, Mr Boylan said he couldn't recollect making such a statement.
Defending solicitor, Mark Mullaney, said that his client would say that he found Mr Kerins' wallet and had handed it back to him earlier that night in the pub. He pointed out that there was no charge in relation to theft against his client.
He also stressed that Mr Boylan denied any allegation of theft of the wallet.
Ryan Kerins, the victim of the assault took the stand at Manorhamilton Court.
He said that he had a habit of leaving his wallet on the bar when he was out for a night.
He noticed the wallet missing some time before midnight on July 13 and told the bar staff and the licensee ordered everyone in the pub to empty their pockets and bags onto tables in an effort to find the wallet.
Mr Kerins said he turned his back to the table as this was done and said he didn't want to know who took the wallet and he wasn't concerned about the money or the bank card it contained, all he wanted was the return of the pictures of his babies which were inside the wallet.
He said a friend out with him and Mr Boylan had taken him aside and pointed out that the defendant had not emptied his pockets like others in the pub.
Later that night, this same friend noted Mr Boylan paying for his round with a wallet. When Mr Boylan opened the wallet, Mr Kerins' friend reached over and took out the bank card from the wallet and pointed out it had Mr Kerins name on it.
Mr Kerins said that when he confronted Mr Boylan he told him he was “only joking and handed the wallet back”.
“I said if you are so stuck for €100 then here, take it,” said Mr Kerins, adding that he removed the pictures of his babies and threw the wallet back at the defendant.
Asked why he had given the wallet back to Mr Boylan, Mr Kerins said he had been “that disgusted he took it I just gave it all to him”.
Later that evening after the parties had gone home Mr Kerins said some discussion was entered about the wallet and the parties agreed to meet at the church.
Defending solicitor, Mark Mullaney, said his client denied the theft of the wallet but had found it and returned it to Mr Kerins in the pub that night.
He acknowledged that an assault had later taken place and said his client was “very, very sorry and asked me to convey his remorse”.
Mr Kerins said he “didn't care” about Mr Boylan's apology.
He said he had a false plate fitted after the assault which was very uncomfortable and made it difficult to eat. He said that he had to reglue it into position several times a day.
“(Boylan) said he didn't punch me but he had my teeth in his hand and (Boylan) had to get an operation to remove them (afterwards),” Mr Kerins told the court.
Mr Mullaney said that his client and Mr Kerins had been good friends and that, since this incident that friendship “will never be restored again”.
He noted his client had paid over €2,000 for emergency dental treatment following the assault and had organised a loan to pay the balance of €9,000.
He handed in testimonials on behalf of his client and said that he did not want in any way to “take away from the seriousness of the assault”.
He reiterated that there was a dispute over the allegations of the theft of the wallet but acknowledged there is “no getting away from the injuries” caused to Mr Kerins.
“He (Mr Boylan) accepts the injuries he caused. He thought he was being attacked but he accepts this was excessive force,” said Mr Mullaney.
He asked that the court take his client's early guilty plea into consideration adding Mr Boylan had never been before the court before.
Judge Kevin Kilrane said there was a considerable amount of alcohol consumed by all on the night in question but said he was “impressed by Mr Kerins' articulate view of what happened in the pub that night”.
He noted that various people had come under suspicion for the theft of the wallet adding a friend is the “last person you would expect to take your wallet.”
“It is difficult to explain fully what happened thereafter. Mr Boylan handed the wallet back to Mr Kerins and Mr Kerins threw it back at him,” said Judge Kilrane, but he speculated it was meant to be an insulting gesture.
He said there was “no comparison” between Mr Kerins who is of slight build and Mr Boylan “who is heavy set and strong”.
“(Boylan) took the victim up like a feather and banged him on the ground and gave him a fist in the mouth,” said Judge Kilrane.
He noted the blood covered hands of Mr Boylan after the incident and said that the allegations made by the victim and witness in relation to the defendant licking the blood and subsequent alleged comments as “shockingly disturbing”.
“There was alcohol involved but the defendant went away leaving a severely injured man bleeding. In the normal way imprisonment should follow,” said the judge.
However he noted that some compensation had been paid and further compensation was coming.
Judge Kilrane said that if the money was paid over a conviction will be recorded but this will not involve a prison sentence. He then adjourned the matter to May.
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