A 75-year-old man drove from Cork to Bandon to bring a young woman to the city but a man got into the car with her and assaulted the pensioner from behind in the course of the journey.
Stephen Barry, who is aged around 30 and from Ballincollig but now living with the Simon community, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to the man on July 19 2015 in the Bandon area.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a four-year jail term on him today at Cork Circuit Criminal Court with the last year suspended.
Sergeant Kevin Heffernan said the 75-year-old man “got a phone call to collect a female friend in Bandon. He drove down to collect her. The defendant was with her and he got into the car. There was an argument in the car and he drove towards the garda station.
“He was assaulted from behind by Stephen Barry. He was punched five or six times. No weapon was used. He was knocked unconscious by the severity of the blow to the back of his head and face.
“The defendant and his friend left the scene. The injured party was taken to Cork University Hospital.”
It was found that he sustained a brain haemorrhage. Sgt. Heffernan said the injured party made a good recovery. He did not want to attend court to give victim evidence.
The sergeant said on his behalf that one of the things that upset him was that his keys were taken and he feared that someone would be able to get into his house.
Dermot Sheehan defence barrister said, “Stephen Barry was friendly with the young lady. The injured party had known that lady for about two months. She is in her late twenties. This gentleman drove from Bandon to collect her and bring her back to Cork.” Mr Sheehan said the defendant was now doing well on a methadone treatment programme and had a Simon key worker who was helping him.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “It was an unprovoked assault of particular viciousness on a man who was offering to drive people home. He was unprotected and received numerous blow to the back of his head. It was a bad experience, of which he was entirely innocent.”