A Chilean national based in Cork was punched multiple times in an unprovoked attack by a stranger at a bus stop and now the attacker has pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm.
Inspector Mark Keating said the victim of the unprovoked assault was walking home from work when he passed by the bus stop on Merchants Quay on October 23.
Now at Cork District Court 35-year-old Donegal man Derek Mulligan has pleaded guilty to the crime. While the formal plea was entered today (December 5), the accused man went straight to Anglesea Street garda station on October 23 and said he had just assaulted someone.
Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said the accused attributed mental health difficulties to “a torrid time he had when he was younger.”
Six years ago the defendant went to Lanzarote when he met his partner and they lived together in Fermoy but more recently he ended up homeless in Cork city.
“On that day, someone gave him something to make him feel better which had a terrible effect on him, combined with the fact that he was not taking his medication at the time,” Mr Kelleher said.
The solicitor said the accused had been in custody for the past seven weeks and was anxious to get out. A victim impact statement will have to be prepared in advance of sentencing.
Judge Olann Kelleher put the case back for one week for that purpose with Mulligan in continuing custody.
Garda Brian Barron said at an earlier hearing that the accused was standing at a bus stop on Merchants Quay when a Chilean national was walking home after finishing a day’s work.
“He was walking towards St. Patrick’s bridge and the accused followed him and seriously assaulted him for no reason. Mr Mulligan hit him to the torso approximately 15 times. He fell to the ground. He then hit him on the ground a further 12 to 15 times. He sustained bruising to the back of his head in this unprovoked assault.
“Mr Mulligan then walked to Anglesea Street and informed Garda Orla Moriarty who was on duty that he had assaulted a male. He had a fresh cut to his knuckles.
“This was a random attack. The injured party had never met or never had any dealings with the defendant prior to this.
“He told the guard he had assaulted the male a few minutes previously.
“Gardaí believe that if given bail he would commit further crimes. We believe he is a danger to the public.”
In his own evidence, Derek Mulligan said, “I went to the garda station and told them I assaulted someone and I was sorry. I have been getting medication for five years. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 16. I have not worked in ten years.
“Without my medication I have voices in my head 24/7. With medication I have peace and comfort within myself.”