Wednesday 28 September 2016

Funeral mourner 'pummelled' dog walker with punches after trying to kick his dog

Conor Gallagher

Published 01/07/2016 | 19:01

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A funeral mourner who “pummelled” a man with punches after trying to kick his dog has been jailed for 14 months.

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Liam O'Connell (26) had been at his uncle's funeral and was standing outside the Halfway House in Dublin with his family when Seamus Mooney passed by walking his dogs.

O'Connell tried to kick one of the dogs, causing it to run onto the road. Mr Mooney (58) asked O'Connell to leave his dogs alone.

The accused punched Mr Mooney and the victim tried to defend himself with his walking stick which he had with him because of a recent hip replacement.

O'Connell of Castlemoyne, Balgriffin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm on the Navan Road on April 4, 2013.

Witnesses said they saw O'Connell “pummel” the victim and punch him between six and ten times as he lay on the ground. O'Connell was also seen kicking Mr Mooney.

Detective Sergeant Paul Tallon said a passing motorist stopped the attack before O'Connell and his family got in a taxi and left the scene.

Gardaí arrived shortly afterwards and sent out a description of O'Connell to taxi drivers. The driver of O'Connell's taxi recognised the description and was going to bring his passengers to Cabra Garda Station but they got out of the car beforehand.

Mr Mooney was taken to hospital where he was treated for swelling, bleeding and cuts to his face. He also experienced numbness in his facial muscles.

The accused was arrested shortly afterwards and admitted “teasing” the dogs. He claimed he struck out because he thought Mr Mooney was going to hit him with his walking stick.

Prosecuting counsel Maurice Coffey said the victim only used the stick after the attack began.

Mr Coffey said O'Connell has 16 previous convictions including one for violent disorder.

O'Connell's barrister Libby Charlton BL told the court that he was very drunk at the time and was in mourning for his uncle who was also his godfather.

She said he required surgery due to knee and back injuries he sustained in a car accident but was willing to do community service once he recovered. She said he was also willing to pay compensation to the victim.

Judge Martin Nolan said neither compensation or community service were appropriate and that “unfortunately” he had to impose a jail term.

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