01 Jul 2022

Man on Longford assault charge escapes conviction

Longford Courthouse.

A man accused of assaulting another man and engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour in public has escaped criminal conviction.

A man accused of assaulting another man and engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour in public has escaped criminal conviction.

Prince Kanu, now living in Castlebar but with a former residence at Richmond Court, Richmond Street, Longford was given the benefit of the Probation Act by Judge Éiteáin Cunningham last week following an incident at the aforementioned address on August 7, 2021.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, said gardaí were called to what he termed as “quite a disturbing incident” at around 7:30pm on foot of reports of an altercation involving two men.

He said Mr Kanu told officers upon their arrival of having been allegedly assaulted by another man.

It was alleged the row had erupted after complaints music was being played too loudly within the confines of the hostel which is a centre for asylum seekers.

He said CCTV of the incident allegedly showed the accused “provoking” his alleged co accused who, seconds later, attempted to attack Mr Kanu.

“The injured party then backed away and appeared with a bottle and tried to attack the man but was stopped by another tenant,” said Sgt Mahon.

In defence, solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said her client, while resident in the centre at the time of the incident, was now based in Co Mayo.

She said Mr Kanu’s actions on the evening of the incident was an act of “almost self defence”, describing the alleged injured party as the “aggressor” of what had unfolded.

“The injured party was the aggressor,” she said.

“He is now living in Castlebar, he has left Longford and he is applying for his residency that came in under new rules that came in in January.

“His co-accused got the benefit of the Probation Act and he just wants to get on with life.”

Ms Mimnagh also alluded to how all statements made by both parties against each other were later withdrawn.

In summation and despite terming the incident as “very serious” in light of the alleged production of a bottle, Judge Cunningham said she was of a mind to spare Mr Kanu a criminal conviction.

As such, she applied Section 1 (1) of the Probation Act.

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