A 23 year old man who attacked another man who had earlier made a remark about his Halloween fancy dress costume, was given a two and a half year suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last week for assault causing harm.
The court heard Sean Woods of Rathcor, Riverstown had claimed he was acting in defence of his girlfriend, who Judge Michael O’Shea was told “did not react well” to the comment that was made.
The victim was waiting with a friend for a taxi outside a licensed premises in Carlingford in the early hours of November first 2015, when the defendant and his girlfriend went past in fancy dress.
An initial altercation occurred there over a remark that was made and sometime later, the injured party - who made his way to a car park¸ heard something behind him and he saw the defendant ‘topless’ running towards him.
He told gardai Sean Woods attacked, kicked and punched him, leaving him with a loose tooth, which could not be saved.
In a victim impact statement, the man said he suffered physical and mental trauma, had not been able to chew food properly for a year, was left with dental bills of €4,000 and as he does not feel safe there, he has not been back to Carlingford which was a place he loved.
In a voluntary statement, the accused claimed the injured party had struck his girlfriend and described it as a fight between two men.
The Defence barrister said his client had not come to Garda attention before or since the incident, and he had gone from peacekeeper, to defender to assailant in a short period of time and a fun night out had turned into something quite ugly.
He added his client now accepts his actions were excessive, hot-headed and wrong, which the barrister said is not behaviour associated with the accused in any shape or form.
Judge Michael O’Shea said the defendant had over-reacted and his response was ‘disproportionate’.