Three boys on their way home from training or just playing in the Ballincollig area were attacked by a stranger – one of them had his hurley taken and was slapped in the face with it.
This boy was only 15 years old as was another victim and the third boy was just 12.
Detective Garda Donal O’Connell described the violent and totally unprovoked attacks that were carried out by 21-year-old Brian Desmond of Innishmore Grove, Ballincollig, County Cork, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Desmond, who was a former member of a boxing club, had been drinking heavily and taking large amounts of prescription tablets on the day of the attacks which were carried out on a laneway from the regional park to Innishmore Grove. He was with another young man at the time.
“All of these happened on the afternoon of February 15. The accused and his friend were sitting on a wall. The first injured party is a 15-year-old boy on his way home after football. The accused shouted to pass the ball.
“Again a 15-year-old on his way home on his bicycle from hurling was asked for the time. He stopped and the accused grabbed his hurley. He stood back and with what the victim said was a good swing he slapped him in the face with the hurley. He spat out a tooth after it.
“The third boy was 12 years old returning from a playground. He was asked had he any tobacco and when he said he did not the defendant said he did and struck him with a closed fist to the forehead knocking him to the ground,” Det. Garda O’Connell said.
The defendant later smashed a car in the area with the hurley.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan imposed a total sentence of three years, with the last two years suspended on condition that Brian Desmond would keep the peace for three years following his release from prison and pay €500 compensation to each of the assault victims and to the car owner.
Sinead Behan said the accused had no convictions for anything like this before and was deeply remorseful and could offer no excuse for his actions.
Judge O’Callaghan said, “This was frightening for everyone – frightening for young kids coming home from their sporting activities, frightening for parents who let their kids walk or cycle to training or playing on the pitches believing it would be safe to do so, and frightening when one looks at the impact of cocktails of alcohol and drugs can have on people.
“These were three unprovoked assaults on young lads minding their own business. Hopefully these three lads grow up realizing what this abuse of alcohol and tablets can do to someone. Because they have witnessed it – they have been the victims of it.”