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Guilty plea to three assaults on former best friend

A 38-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday to carrying out three different assaults in one evening on a man who had been his best friend.

Gary King, of Lios Cara Grove, Killeens, Cork, indicated through his solicitor, John Powell, at Cork District Court that he was pleading guilty to all of the charges against him.

Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the alleged facts of the case and Judge Olann Kelleher agreed to accept jurisdiction to deal with the case at district court level.

After hearing the outline of the allegations in the case investigated by Garda Graham Desmond, the judge said he would accept jurisdiction.

Sergeant John Kelleher said that on April 7, 2019, at around 7pm, the complainant, Jonathan Heffernan, was having a drink with a relative in the Commons Inn when he was allegedly assaulted by Gary King.

Sgt. Kelleher said it was alleged that, “Gary King was goading the injured party who told him to go away and leave them alone. Gary King then attacked Jonathan Heffernan, punching at him and they struggled on to the ground.” Sgt Kelleher told the judge that the defendant was escorted from the premises.

It was then alleged that, “A short time later Gary King returned to the Commons Inn and attacked Jonathan Heffernan again in the same manner. The injured party alleged he received a foot injury during this assault.” Both incidents were captured on CCTV.

In the third alleged assault, it was outlined by Jonathan Heffernan to gardaí that when he was walking home later at Parklands Drive he was set upon again by the defendant who allegedly struck him in the knee with his own knee, causing injury to Jonathan Heffernan’s knee.

After hearing of the injuries suffered by the injured party, who is also aged 38, Judge Kelleher decided that it was a suitable case to be dealt with at district court level.

Mr Powell said King was pleading guilty to the charges yesterday and said: “Mr King and the injured party were originally best friends.” Sgt Kelleher said a victim impact statement would have to be prepared in advance of sentencing.

Judge Kelleher adjourned the case until September 7 for that purpose.