A HOUSEHOLDER who approached a group of youths heading home from an 18th birthday party about a loud bang at his front door after midnight was head-butted by one of them and then assaulted by up to five youths.
Residents of the Weston View estate in Carrigaline who heard the commotion came to their injured neighbour’s assistance and intervened to protect him.
Judge Olann Kelleher described it as a vicious and very serious attack.
Two of the young people involved in the attack faced sentencing today for assault causing harm and engaging in violent disorder.
Judge Kelleher said: “This was a vicious assault by a group of people [on the householder]. He suffered very serious injury. I accept that they are only two of the people involved and that there were four or five involved altogether. They left this man in a terrible condition with bruising to his body and face — from kicking and headbutting, not all carried out by the two accused.
“His hobby was golf and he could not play for more than four months afterward.
“I accept their remorse and efforts at compensation for his injuries. It goes some way to compensate. It is a very serious charge, which in other circumstances would merit a custodial sentence.”
Taking all the factors into consideration the two defendants were both fined €500 for assault causing harm and €100 for the violent disorder.
Ryan Coleman, aged 22, of Heatherfield Lawn, Carrigaline, and Matt O’Neill, aged 20, of Wrenville, Carrigaline, both pleaded guilty to the two charges.
O’Neill admitted two additional charges of being drunk and a danger and engaging in threatening behaviour on the occasion, for which he was fined €200 and €300 respectively. Judge Kelleher took into consideration the absence of previous convictions and the compensation gathered.
Daithí Ó Donnabháin, solicitor, said O’Neill brought €3,000 compensation to court for the victim, apologised, cooperated with the investigation and had taken the event very much to heart in terms of his socialising and alcohol consumption since the incident.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said Coleman had €2,500 compensation. He said Coleman first just intervened when he mistakenly perceived that his friend was in difficultly but unfortunately went on to become more involved in the physical attack which followed. He said the young man was ashamed of his conduct and had shown victim empathy.
Sergeant John Kelleher said the incident occurred between 12.30 and 1am on July 12 last year when a group of up to 20 youths were passing through the housing estate at Weston View on their way home from an 18th birthday party.
The householder heard a loud bang at his front door and came out to investigate what happened. The group was walking towards the neighbouring Glenwood estate and he confronted the youths to establish what happened.
“One of the youths — not before the court — took great exception to this and came directly into the injured party’s face in an aggressive manner and without warning head-butted him.
“He was then kicked, punched and knocked to the ground. He was knocked to the ground on three occasions,” Sgt Kelleher said.
The violent incident ended when a number of residents came out and intervened to protect their neighbour.