Judge Flann Brennan imposed a 12 month sentence for an attempted robbery in Dundalk. He also handed a four month concurrent term to Mantas Bielskis (25), a father of one, for a “vicious” assault.
The charges related to an early morning incident at River Lane near the town centre.
Bielskis with an address at Riverside Drive, Dundalk denied the attempted robbery and assault on August 14 2011. He claimed that he was mistakenly identified as demanding money from one young man and striking the injured party and then entering a nearby restaurant where he was stated to have assaulted a friend of the injured party.
Judge Brennan said he was convinced by witness evidence given in the case. Conor McCrea told the court he went into town with friends after leaving a going- away party on the night in question. He said he was with Niall Franklin when he was approached by the defendant demanding money between 1.30am and 2am. He said he was “frightened because of his (defendant’s) size and the time of night.” Mr McCrea ran away when approached and was followed by the defendant.
Minutes later the defendant entered the Spicy Bites restaurant where the two witnesses went. The defendant threw a punch and grabbed a chair. Mr Franklin said he ran out on to the street and saw a Garda patrol car and alerted them. Mark Woods who was also at the party, said that he was in Spicy Bites when the defendant entered and started shouting. He swung for Niall Woods.
The defendant then hit him in the face, and when he picked up a chair everybody left except Mr. Woods. Woods said he was cornered between a counter and a table. The defendant hit him several times on the head and kicked him on the ground. He said he could not make out what the defendant was saying, but assumed he was looking for money. Garda Sean Finnegan said when he drove up River Lane the defendant was standing in the middle of the street. He stopped the patrol car and the defendant started banging the bonnet. The defendant was highly intoxicated.
In evidence Bileskis denied the assault and attempted robbery. Inspector Martin Beggy, prosecuting, asked could the defendant think of any reason why the three witnesses identified him.
”I never seen them before,” he replied.
The Inspector said the other public order offences against the defendant related to October 3 rd 2011 when Gardai were called to Woodbury Gardens and had to use pepper spray to arrest him.His father had him in a headlock when they arrived and he was intoxicated and abusive. He was directed to leave the area but didn’t.
Mr Bielskis was sentended to 12 months for the attempted robbery and received a four month concurrent term for the assault.