Two men have pleaded guilty to affray on September 9, 2017, and will reappear for sentencing at the October sittings of Longford Circuit Court.
Kyle Quinn, 32 Glebe View, Longford, and Patrick O’Leary, 44 Ardlow Manor, Cavan, are two of four co-accused involved in the incident, which took place outside a fast food restaurant in Longford town.
Mr Quinn, who was 16 at the time of the offence, and Mr O’Leary, who was 23 on that date, both pleaded guilty at Longford Circuit Court on June 10 of this year.
Giving his evidence to the court, Gda Liam Ward explained that, at 2.30am, Gda Ward and Gda Daniel Lynch attended the scene of a fight on Earl Street.
On arriving at the scene, they observed a man covered in blood and very upset. He was with his friend and explained to gardaí that they had been in a fight with a group of five males and that the two accused had been among them.
They indicated to gardaí that the fight had started in a chipper on Earl Street and spilled out onto the street. However, there was no CCTV footage and no statement from independent witnesses.
The injured party outlined to gardaí that he had come into town to socialise after work and went with his friend to a number of pubs before walking to the Earl Street chipper. After they ordered food, one of the co-accused, who will appear at a later date, invited one of the men outside to fight but they said no.
The two complainants had ordered food but decided to leave to avoid anything arising, the court heard.
“The injured party put his head outside to see if there were any taxis available,” said Gda Ward.
Prosecuting, Mr Shane Geraghty Bl, noted that when the man put his head out, another co-accused, who will appear before the courts at a later date, “hit him a powerful box to the face”.
In the injured party’s statement to gardaí he said “he must have been wearing a ring or something” because caught on his nose and cut him.
“He fell to the ground and was kicked while on the ground. He got to his feet and ran up the street then walked to Midoc where he was checked over,” Mr Geragthy explained.
“He went home to bed but his pillow was covered in blood when he woke up. He went to the doctor and got cleaned up.
“His friend was in the chipper and looked out to see him on the ground getting kicked. As he came out (one of the unnamed co-accused) came running and swung a punch at him. He doesn’t remember much but said it was a crazy situation.”
The court heard that, when Mr Quinn was interviewed, he was uncooperative. Mr O’Leary, however, engaged fully with gardaí, telling them he saw an argument and tried to stop it.
The victim in the incident suffered injuries to his face and teeth by other co-accused who are standing trial and therefore cannot be named.
A victim impact statement by the injured party stated that he had €1,110 in medical bills as well as lost wages due to time off work. His front tooth was broken, he had bruising to his head and ribs and an injury to his right nostril. Psychologically, he is wary of going out safely.
Judge Johnson, having heard the evidence said that it was clear from the victim impact statement that it was clear the injured party received “very severe injuries”.
“But it’s clear those injuries were not from any act by either of the accused,” he said, before noting the importance of a guilty plea in the case of the two accused.
“Had they been convicted by a jury, it would have been inevitable that they would get a custodial sentence. I’m satisfied that the offending is out of character for both of them.”
Judge Johnson ordered a probation report for the October sittings and asked that both accused have €1,000 by way of compensation “as a way of making some recompense to the victim”.
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