Jail for man who delivered single knockout blow after 'initial verbal encounter'

Jail for man who delivered single knockout blow after 'initial verbal encounter'

A knockout blow was delivered to a man at the Simon community in Cork and now the assailant has been jailed for nine months.

A knockout blow was delivered to a man at the Simon community in Cork and now the assailant has been jailed for nine months.

38-year-old William O’Driscoll, formerly of the Knocknaheeny area and of no fixed address pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm to the other man at Cork Simon Community on Anderson’s Quay, Cork, on Monday night November 9 2020.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the injured party in this case died recently but he stressed that the assault was not linked in any way with his death.

Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said that even though the injured party had since died, O’Driscoll was maintaining his plea of guilty.

In fact, the injured party never made a complaint of being assaulted by O’Driscoll last November. The prosecution was based on CCTV which clearly covered the single blow assault.

Garda Paul Dromey said previously that the incident that gave rise to the charge occurred shortly before 11pm on that Monday night and William O’Driscoll punched him in the face knocking him unconscious.

“I viewed CCTV and it clearly shows him punching the injured party and knocking him unconscious,” Garda Dromey said.

Mr Buttimer said, “There was an encounter between the injured party and my client. It was some form of verbal encounter initially. Mr O’Driscoll walked away. He may have had reason to be unhappy with the unfortunate deceased as a result of the prior engagement, as a result of which Mr O’Driscoll came out second best.

“That was the background to the matter on the day in question. He walked a good distance away. But probably because of ongoing communication he came back and delivered one blow to the now deceased gentleman.” 

In general terms he said O’Driscoll would go off drink for a long period and regrettably regress as he did on this occasion when he went drinking again.

Judge Kelleher expressed concern about the fact that the accused had 201 previous convictions including five for assault and two for assault causing harm.

“This is his eighth assault conviction,” the judge said as he imposed the sentence of nine months for this assault and a number of other lesser offences.

During O’Driscoll’s initial bail application, shortly after the incident, Garda Dromey said of the complainant and defendant, “They have a history, you could say.” 

Mr Buttimer said the accused could have fled the scene but was available to be arrested almost an hour later when the gardaí were present.

O’Driscoll said in his bail application, “I won’t drink, I’ll sign on three times a day if you want me to or if you want to put a tag on my leg.”

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