A former Tipperary hurler who left hospital in Cork on crutches was beaten mercilessly by a man in a psychotic episode and yesterday the attacker was jailed for five years.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a sentence of seven years with the last two years suspended on Adam Sheehan of 113, Seamus Murphy Place, Mallow, Co Cork, who pleaded guilty to robbery from 47-year-old Seamus Troy at Railway Street, Cork, on July 20.
“It was a mindless attack, without compassion, necessity or purpose,” the judge said.
Mr Troy had just been released from hospital on crutches. Adam Sheehan, 26, beat him across the head and neck with one of his crutches until he broke the crutch. He then kneeled on the victim’s neck and demanded the pin number for his bank card.
Mr Troy won All-Ireland medals with Tipperary in 1989 and 1991 at minor and U21 level.
Mr Troy said, “The accused approached me asking for money and I replied that I am only out of hospital and heading home. He grabbed my bag from the crutches and ran. I rang 999.
“Before I knew it he had knocked me to the ground. He grabbed one of my crutches and hit me across the face and my head repeatedly.
“He also hit me across the back. He just kept hitting me. I could feel the blood running down my head and face.
My whole life flashed before my eyes. He kept hitting me until the crutch broke.
“He kneeled down on top of me. He then slipped something into my mouth and put his knee on my neck.
“I have lost my motivation to do everything. I have never met or seen this man who assaulted me.
“I have tried to get help but nothing great has happened so far but hopefully soon. I would like to thank the man who came to my aid. I feel like he saved my life. Only for him I would be dead,” Mr Troy said.
Garda Paraic White who investigated the case said Adam Sheehan had previous convictions including counts for burglary, arson and carrying knives.
Peter O’Flynn defence barrister, referred to head shop drugs being blamed for the upsurge in teenage violence on a HSE website Mr O’Flynn said, “This drug, spice, can turn someone into a psychopath. This was psychotic behaviour by a man who has no history of this kind of behaviour.
“He has long-term alcohol problems. Having smoked this substance this is what happened.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin agreed it was psychotic to strike the victim with his own crutch on his release from hospital but said it was not excused in any way by drug-taking.