A 20-year-old man who was involved in an attack on two brothers who were walking home from celebrating Dundalk Football Club winning the league, during which a ‘Glock’ style air pistol was produced, was last week jailed for two years at Dundalk Circuit Court.
Leigh Kearney of O’Hanlon Park, Dundalk pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm at O’Hanlon Park on October 25th 2014.
The brothers had been out celebrating Dundalk winning the Airtricity League after beating Cork City, and in the early hours of the morning, after buying food in a takeaway, decided to walk home because of the queue for taxis.
They were at the Long Walk/Ice House Hill junction, when two youths approached them. One asked for a can, but when one of the brothers said they only had food, one of the pair pulled out what looked like a handgun and claimed that it was loaded.
The brothers tried to walk away but were assaulted and both were attacked with a blunt object. The scuffle broke up when gardai arrived on the scene and the court heard a co-accused - who has since fled the jurisdiction, continued trying to assault one of the men and pepper spray was required to restrain both assailants.
The court heard they were both unfit to be interviewed until 10am and Leigh Kearney exercised his right to silence apart from denying that he’d stuck a gun in the stomach of one of the victims, when he said “he was not a robber”.
Parts of an air pistol in the style of a Glock handgun were recovered and the brother’s DNA was found on it. The men were treated in hospital for head and facial lacerations.
The accused had previous convictions for public order offences, and was given the Probation act for assault causing harm for an incident within 24 hours of the O’Hanlon Park attack. He was assessed by the Probation Service as being at a very high risk of reoffending.
The Defence barrister said his client had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol that night, €8,000 in compensation had been lodged with the victim’s solicitor and the court heard Leigh Kearney has had no adverse direct contact with the brothers since the incident.
Judge Michael O’Shea said the defendant and his accomplice had intimidated the brothers in a shocking manner and the brothers were subjected to a horrific ordeal and senseless brutality was inflicted on them. He imposed three year concurrent sentences but suspended the last 12 months on Leigh Kearney entering a bond to be of good behaviour for a year after his release.