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02 Dec 2021

Longford man handed suspended prison sentence for triple assault

Longford Courthouse.

A man who assaulted three men, including a garda, at a Ballymahon bar in November 2019 has been sentenced to two years in prison with the entirety of the sentence suspended for a period of five years.

A man who assaulted three men, including a garda, at a Ballymahon bar in November 2019 has been sentenced to two years in prison with the entirety of the sentence suspended for a period of five years.

Jason Flynn, with an address at Aghamore, Ballinalee, Co Longford, was charged with, and pleaded guilty to two counts of section 3 assault and one count of section 2 assault at a bar in Ballymahon on January 24, 2019.

Garda Vincent O’Leary of Ballymahon Garda Station, when giving evidence, explained that the incident occurred just after midnight.

He told Judge Keenan Johnson that, at 11.30pm, the barman called for last orders and another group of people, made up of mainly staff, ordered a number of drinks.

Mr Flynn, who was in the presence of two other women tried to order another drink at approximately midnight and, when the barman refused him, he became agitated and demanded to know why the other group had been given drinks.

Things got heated after Mr Flynn approached the table after hearing what he told the court was a very “hurtful” comment calling him “a knacker”.

When the barman attempted to break up a verbal argument, Mr Flynn became more aggressive and swung the barman around into an unlit fireplace where he banged his head and lost consciousness briefly.

The kitchen porter also intervened, receiving facial injuries and, when Gda O’Leary arrived to break up the incident, there was a struggle and Gda O’Leary’s left index finger was bent violently backwards.

“The accused obviously got the wrong end of the stick,” said Judge Johnson.

“The barman was perfectly within his rights to refuse him drink.”

He said that it was “perfectly clear” from CCTV footage furnished to court that the barman had been “out cold” but “thankfully came around very quickly”.

The kitchen porter, he said, “received a significant beating” in what Judge Johnson said was “a vicious assault” which was “totally unprovoked”.

“It is an appalling state of affairs that a garda trying to bring peace to a volatile situation should be subjected to such an assault,” he added.

Judge Johnson accepted that the offending, before mitigation, ranked in the mid range and therefore attracted a headline sentence of three years.

Taking into account a number of mitigating factors, including an early plea of guilt, Judge Johnson reduced that to two years, suspending the entirety of the sentence for a period of five years with a number of conditions, including that he refrain from alcohol and drugs and engage with addiction services.

As well as €2,000 Mr Flynn had accumulated for court last week, he was ordered to have a further €5,000 for the victims, starting with €2,000 on September 1, 2022.

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