A Christmas time assault by two young men on a student in the Barrack Street area in the early hours of the morning was described by the sentencing judge as cowardly and nasty.
Stephen Kavanagh of 11 Mount Sion Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, and Alan O’Brien of 38 Edward Walsh Road, Togher, Cork, both pleaded guilty Sergeant Darren Reid said the incident occurred at 3 a.m. on December 23 2018.
“The victim was walking on Sullivan’s Quay in the company of a friend of his in the direction of Barrack Street. Two co-accused also out socialising in the Barrack Street area were walking down Sullivan’s Quay.
“As they passed, words were exchanged. The victim and a female companion continued to walk to Barrack Street. The two co-accused followed them for about 50 metres and then they became physical with the victim.
“They punched and kicked out. He tried to make good his escape. They dragged the victim to the ground. He curled into a ball. They gave him kicks to the upper body and head,” Sgt. Reid said.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin clarified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, “They kicked him when he was lying down on the ground.”
The sergeant confirmed this was so.
“A passing motorist alighted from his vehicle. He went over and intervened and the assault stopped. Both accused went to the city centre. The injured party had minor lacerations to his head,” Sgt. Reid said.
A large amount of CCTV evidence was harvested and the two accused were identified.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm. O’Brien, 25, brought €2,100 to court to compensate the victim. Kavanagh, 27, brought €1,700.
Kavanagh apologised through Dermot Sheehan barrister. O’Brien did likewise through Ray Boland BL and said he was disgusted by his own behaviour.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “The main factor I consider is that this was a cowardly and nasty type of assault. They basically followed him a short distance, dragged him to the ground and kicked him while on the ground.”
In mitigation the judge considered their pleas of guilty, absence of previous assault convictions and the fact that neither defendant had been in any trouble since December 2018 when this assault occurred.
He imposed a suspended 18-month sentence on both accused.