A MAN who was questioned by gardaí for assaulting a neighbour with a shovel sent the victim a text at 4am on the night that he was questioned, threatening he would come back and “finish him off.”
However, at the sentencing hearing for 29-year-old Damien Long at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, defence barrister Niamh Stewart said that the man Long attacked was his best friend, and they were friends again now.
“Mr Long had a lot of prescription tablets and drink on him on the night. He has since met the injured party and apologised to him. His friend has accepted the apology and they still remain friends,” said Ms Stewart.
Garda Dermot Broughton arrested Long of 53 Ard Bhaile, Mayfield, Cork, earlier this year and charged him with a number of counts, including possession of a weapon, namely a shovel, on March 7, hitting his neighbour with the shovel, and causing criminal damage to a patio window of the house.
Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan said Long went to the other man’s house before 8pm but was told not to come in as the injured party had family in the house at the time.
“Prior to this, they were good friends of each other and Mr Long would call and watch TV and have a few drinks. When he was refused entry he threw a can of beer at him, hitting him in the nose with the can of beer,” Det Sgt O’Sullivan said.
He pulled a shovel that was in the neighbour’s garden and smashed his friend’s patio door. When his friend came back out to see what had caused the noise, Long struck him a number of times about the body with the shovel.
Ms Stewart said the accused was injured more severely by his own actions, fracturing and cutting his hand during the incident.
When questioned by gardaí the following month, he sent a text to the victim at 4am “threatening to come back and finish him off,” the detective said.
Judge Helen Boyle said: “You had attended many previous occasions at your neighbour’s house. You were told you were not allowed in.
“You threw a can of beer at him striking him in the nose. You broke a patio door with a shovel taken from the neighbour’s garden and when the injured party came out you struck him about the body with the shovel.
“You hit your friend with a shovel, damaged his property and sent a text threatening to finish him off.
“The mitigating factors are your early plea, which your friend having to give evidence and the State the cost of a trial.
This was a falling out, albeit a very violent one, with your friend.
“Your problem with drink and drugs is one you would want to take a look at.”
The judge sentenced Long to two years with last year suspended.
That sentence is consecutive to a sentence already being served in an unrelated case.