A woman was the victim of a “vicious assault” by a former work colleague at a staff function in the hotel where they worked and now the assailant has been jailed for nine months for this and another assault on the same night.
Judge Olann Kelleher imposed the jail term on Nicholas O’Brien of O’Mahony Square, Blackpool, Cork, as the 28-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges of assault causing harm.
Judge Kelleher noted that the man who was assaulted was knocked unconscious and that the attack on the woman was vicious.
Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background to the incident at Cork District Court.
“On February 5 at 2.40am at The Address Hotel (previously The Ambassador) on Military Hill, Cork, gardaí responded to a report of alleged assaults on staff members of the hotel.
"Although the man who was assaulted was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to Cork University Hospital he left after waiting several hours without being seen by any medical professional. He suffered headaches afterwards but returned to work.
“Nicholas O’Brien also admitted punching (the woman) several times to the face. This resulted in her nose bleeding and bruising to her right eye and cheek. She was treated by paramedics but did not attend hospital.
“Nicholas O’Brien has 16 previous convictions including two for assault causing harm, two for assault, one for aggravated burglary and one for robbery.”
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the accused was particularly anxious to raise compensation for the injured parties in advance of sentencing.
Mr Buttimer said that in effect this was the main mitigation that would be put forward by the defence. He said that in an unrelated assault case previously, Nicholas O’Brien had gathered €10,000 for the injured party. The solicitor said the accused would be capable of putting meaningful compensation together in the present case.
Mr Buttimer said the defendant’s perspective on what occurred was that he was intervening in an argument between other parties and was trying to stop it.
The solicitor said there was no doubt that the defendant inflicted a number of blows on the woman.
Another matter in the background was an alcohol problem which the defendant has been addressing and has been off alcohol since February.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he might have been able to do that if the accused had no previous convictions. However, he said he could not do so with Nicholas O’Brien’s record.
“I have read the victim impact statement. This had a dreadful effect on her. It affected her confidence.
“It was a vicious assault on this lady and her colleague. The man was temporarily unconscious. And with his fists he hit this lady a number of times,” Judge Kelleher said.
The judge imposed two concurrent nine-month sentences on Nicholas O’Brien on the two counts of assault causing harm.