Friday 31 October 2014

Andrew (20) pleaded ‘please don’t hit me’ during fatal assault, trial told

Published 16/01/2014 | 02:30

Andrew Dolan, inset, left Patrick Daly (23) and Jessica Hughes (21), right
Patrick Daly and Jessica Hughes
Jessica Hughes. James Flynn/APX

Two people - Jessica Hughes (21) and Patrick Daly (23) - have pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing Andrew Dolan who died following an assault in December of 2011

Andrew Dolan (20) from Carrick-on-Shannon passed away in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital on January 1, 2012, from injuries sustained during an assault on Pearse Street in Mullingar on December 23, 2011.

Jessica Hughes (21) of Greenfield Heights, Rathwire, Killucan, Co Westmeath and Patrick Daly (23), Mulphedder, Clonard, Co Meath, both denied a charge of manslaughter yesterday.

Mr Daly also denied assaulting one of Mr Dolan's friends, Ian Farrell.

A witness told Mullingar Circuit Court that the Mr Dolan was shouting, "please don't hit me, please don't hit me" as he backed away from his assailant.

The prosecution told the jury the biomedical student had been socialising with friends before the incident.

An exchange of words in a fast-food restaurant, not involving Mr Dolan, had led to the assault, he said.

The prosecution said that Mr Dolan was struck a total of six times by three people -- Mr Daly, Ms Hughes and a Mr Patrick Farrell, who he said delivered the final blow.

The court heard Mr Farrell had admitted to a charge of manslaughter.

Witness Barry Waters was out for Christmas with workmates when he heard raised voices and saw "four individuals involved in an argument" on Pearse Street. Three of them were "quite aggressive" and one person appeared to back away, he said. "I didn't see the punch or slap but I saw one individual fall and hit his head off the ground," he told the court.

Manager of Danny Byrnes pub Aidan Conroy heard a commotion at about 2.30am. "I heard the young lad shouting in the middle of the street. He was shouting, 'don't hit me, please don't hit me'."

PUNCH

Mr Conroy said Mr Dolan was then knocked down with a punch. "I was right beside him. The impact that he hit on the ground still rings in my head, it was an unmerciful blow," he said.

He agreed with counsel for Mr Daly that her client had remained at the scene after Mr Dolan was knocked down.

Mr Dolan's friend Ian Farrell told the court he was assaulted outside Abrakebabra and had lost a tooth, was left with a black eye and suffered swelling. He didn't know why he was assaulted or who carried it out.

Another friend, Simon Mills, tried to reason with the other group when the three friends were approached outside Abrakebabra.

During the confrontation he said, "Andrew, he broke off with maybe one or two of the others. It was the girl and a darker haired guy."

Mr Mills said: "I was knocked to the ground and as I was getting up I saw Andrew being hit and all three were around Andrew at this stage."

Counsel for Ms Hughes said CCTV footage would show his client "trying her best to prevent the fracas".

The trial is due to resume today in front of Judge Anthony Hunt.

Eoghan MacConnell

Irish Independent

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