Longford Circuit Court: Three years in prison for assaulting two men

Judge says he is 'sick, sore and tired' dealing with feuding families

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A man who pleaded guilty to assault causing harm was sentenced to three years in prison following a hearing into the matter at Longford Circuit Court.

Martin Nevin, 15 Canal Drive, Prospect Woods, Longford appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson charged with two counts of assault causing harm in 2016 and in 2015 in Longford town.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Mr Shane Geraghty, Counsel for the State said the case centred on the assaults of two men, both of whom were known to the defendant.

He said that issues began on May 16, 2015 when David and Michael Nevin travelled to Longford to play in a soccer match in Moydow.

The match, the court was told, was scheduled to start at 2:30pm, so in the meantime, the pair went to visit a brother-in-law and then afterwards headed for Prospect Woods where they intended to look at a car that was for sale.

The court heard that they drove around the estate and when the Nevins failed to find the location of the vehicle that was for sale, they decided to leave and travelled towards the exit.

It was at that point, the court was told, that a Fiat Punto pulled up in front of the car in which the Nevins were travelling and blocked the path of the vehicle.

A man and a woman were in the Punto.

“Some kind of substance was thrown at David Nevin’s car and a machete was then produced by the male - the defendant, Martin Gerard Nevin,” added counsel, before pointing out that David Nevin subsequently went to his boot and took a hockey stick from the inside.

“The female driver of the Fiat Punto then took the keys of David Nevin’s car and when he looked up, David could see Martin Gerard Nevin coming towards him.

“Martin Gerard Nevin had a bar - five foot in length - and he struck David Nevin across the head with the bar.

“The attackers left and gadaí arrived on the scene.”

The court, meanwhile, was told that the injured man was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar where he was treated for his wounds and received eight or nine double stitches to the head.

“The injured party subsequently received a USB video in which Martin Nevin made reference to 'giving a man stitches' and the 'Ditsy Nevins',” added Mr Geraghty.

“This video is referring to the injured party in this case.”

Garda Padraig McConnin then told the court that he formed the opinion, after watching the video, that Martin Nevin was “talking about the assault”.

He also pointed to the fact that Mr Nevin was arrested in connection with the assault and when interviewed, claimed that people “were telling lies” about him.

The court then had David Nevin’s Victim Impact Statement read into evidence.

In it, he stated that he was assaulted in Longford in 2015, on an ordinary day as he was going about his business.

He said he suffered a lot of physical pain as a result of the assault and is now more protective of his family.

“I hope nothing like this ever happens again,” he added.

It then emerged that a feud had been ongoing between the Joyce and the Nevin families since a row broke out at a pub in Mullingar in 2015.

Meanwhile, the court heard about the second assault.

Mr Geraghty told Judge Johnson that on that particular day back in 2017, gardaí received a call at Roscommon Garda Station indicating that an assault had taken place at Palace Crescent in Longford town.

Garda Dominic Gillooly, the court was told attended the scene and then spoke to Midoc.

The next day, however, at approximately 9am a male youth called to the station to make a complaint about being assaulted.

“His eyes were bloodshot; his face beaten up and his nose was swollen,” said Garda Gilhooly.

“He said he was assaulted because Michael Nevin was bringing proceedings and the person who assaulted him - Martin Gerard Nevin - referred to those charges.

“He said that Martin Nevin told him, ‘I will burn you out of it, if you don’t drop the charges’ before hitting him in the face with a bottle of buckfast,” Garda Gilhooly continued.

The court, meanwhile, heard that Martin Gerard Nevin was arrested in connection with the incident, but when questioned by the Gardaí, denied any wrongdoing.

The injured party told the court, in his victim impact statement, that his nose had been broken in the assault.

“My nose still isn’t right, but I have been told that it is the best it can be,” he continued.

“Since the assault, I can’t breathe or smell properly; I have bad dreams and because I was going mad in my house, moved to England.

“My nose is sensitive and painful and I am paranoid this will happen again.”

Martin Gerard Nevin then provided direct evidence to the court.

He explained that his wife was a Joyce and a feud had been instigated between the Joyce and Nevin families.

“They have attacked me on several occasions and another time while I was in Prospect Woods, the windows of my house were broke,” he added.

“I was injured in the finger too; I’m not saying what I was doing was right - Mickey [Michael] Nevin and me were friends; we grew up together - but that time I met him, I had drink taken and we had words.”

Mr Nevin went on to say that he was caught in a feud that he didn’t want to be in.

“That day when Mickey and David came into the estate, they were looking for me - there never was any car that they were looking for,” the defendant continued.

“I was drinking too much at the time, but I’m not half as bad now.

“I’m more than sorry for what I have done, but the truth is that I am caught in a situation that I can’t get out of.”

Judge Johnson then asked Mr Nevin why did he make a DVD?

“I made the DVD to warn them to get out of my estate and leave me alone,” he replied to the Judge.

“I know that I done wrong, but wrong was also done to me.

“They are not the saints they make themselves out to be.”

In mitigation, defence counsel, Mr Niall Flynn said his client was a 35-year-old married man with six children.

“With regards to the first offence - the one in May 2015 -there was an altercation between parties that are not before the court,” he added.

“Mr Nevin, who was in his house, whether rightly or wrongly left the house in possession of a weapon and foolishly got involved in an incident in which he should have minded his own business.

“There was a feud going on and why a family travelled from Mullingar and went into my client’s estate is a question worth asking.”

Mr Flynn went on to say that his client had admitted his wrongdoing and entered a guilty plea in respect of the charges.

“My client accepts that it was his decision to strike another person, but he does have an addiction and this assault was somewhat motivated by the consumption of alcohol,” he added.

Meanwhile, the court heard that Mr Nevin had a number of previous convictions and counsel subsequently alluded to his “awful history of conviction”.

“He accepts that he shouldn’t consume alcohol and has attended his GP to provide urine analysis; he has also given up alcohol,” said Mr Flynn, before pointing to the fact that there was no urine analysis report available to the court at this time.

The Judge then told counsel that it was “unsatisfactory” that a report had not been furnished.

During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Johnson said; “I am sick, sore and tired dealing with feuds with these particular families”.

He added; “This has to stop; the effect that these assaults had on the victims has to be taken into consideration and Michael Nevin is still suffering from his injuries.”

Judge Johnson went on to say that while he was prepared to accept that the defendant was now sober and remorseful for his behaviour, it did appear that he was caught in the middle of a feud between the Nevin and Joyce families.

The Judge subsequently sentenced Mr Nevin to three years in prison and ordered him to pay €3,000 in compensation to Michael Nevin within 12 months of his release.