Man who drove perpetrators of meat cleaver attack avoids jail

Aaron Dardis (25) told gardaí he gave a lift to a few kids after they told him they were going to give someone a “few knocks”
Man who drove perpetrators of meat cleaver attack avoids jail

Isabel Hayes

A man who assisted the perpetrators of a meat cleaver attack by driving some of them to the scene of the assault has been given a one-year suspended sentence.

Aaron Dardis (25) told gardaí he gave a lift to a few children after they told him they were going to give someone a “few knocks”. Dardis said he thought it was supposed to be “a fair fight” and that he did not hear what happened during the assault until a couple of days later.

The victim in the assault had his arm shattered in two places by a meat cleaver and has limited use of the arm since, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.

Dardis, with an address in St Mark's Green, Clondalkin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of assisting an offender contrary to section 72 of the Criminal Law Act at Balgaddy, Dublin on August 7th, 2017.

Detective Garda Damien Reilly told Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that the victim in the assault was walking past Balgaddy playground on the night in question when he was approached by two young men. The victim took out a knife he had brought with him from his kitchen, causing the two men to run away.

A short time later, the victim was approached by a gang of six young men, armed with a meat cleaver and a bike chain, among other weapons. He was struck on the arm with the meat cleaver and beaten around the head with other implements before a passer-by intervened.

Questioned

The group of men ran away, and the passer-by witnessed one of them getting into a blue Nissan Micra car. This car was traced back to Dardis by gardaí and he was interviewed and questioned.

Dardis told gardaí that on the night in question, he had put his baby to bed when he heard a commotion and got into his car to check it out. He said a group of kids asked if he would give them a lift as they were going to a fight.

Dardis said he dropped the young men off, turned the car around and then picked one of the young men up on the way back. “It was supposed to be a fair fight,” he told gardaí.

Phillip Rahn SC, defending, said his client had grown up in a socially deprived are but had never been in trouble before. He has a steady job, has been in a relationship for nine years and has two children. A probation report found him to be at low risk of re-offending.

Judge Melanie Greally noted Dardis had no previous convictions and has not amassed any convictions since the offence over three years ago.

“He is a young man who has grown up in a socially disadvantaged area and has managed to conduct a largely pro-social life,” the judge said.

The judge noted that Dardis “was aware there was to be a physical altercation”. She handed down a 12-month sentence, but suspended it on a number of conditions.

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