News Courts

Sunday 21 September 2014

Man who asked group not to feed his dog a hamburger punched, kicked and bitten

Declan Brennan

Published 23/07/2014 | 17:10

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Pic Shows: Stephen O’Brien at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday (Wednesday) 23-07-2014.
Re: Stephen O’Brien (23) of O’Brien of Sallynoggin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Mr Kheffache at Georges St Upper, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin on March 11, 2013
Pic: Collins Courts.
Stephen O’Brien at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court 23-07-2014. Pic: Collins Courts.
O’Brien (Stephen): Given a two and a half year suspended sentence for assault causing harm, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, 23-7-14
Pic shows: Stephen O’Brien (23), of Sallynoggin, Dublin at court yesterday (Wed.) where he was given a two and a half year suspended sentence for assault causing harm to Mr Kheffache at Georges St Upper, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin in March, 2013
Pic: Courtpix
Stephen O’Brien at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court 23-07-2014. Pic: Courtpix

Two men took part in an unprovoked assault on a dog owner who asked them not to feed a hamburger to his pet, a court has heard.

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Stephen Brown (20) and Stephen O’Brien (23) punched and kicked the victim while a third man bit his ear.

In his victim impact report, Sean Kheffache said he was left with a scar on his ear and was nervous about going out for a while after the attack. He said his dog was also tense for weeks afterwards.

Brown of Monkstown Farm, Dun Laoghaire and O’Brien of Rollins Villas, Sallynoggin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Mr Kheffache at Georges Street Upper, Dun Laoghaire on March 11, 2013

Brown, a trained boxer, also admitted assault causing harm to Martin O’Toole at Monkstown Farm on May 19, 2013. After the single punch assault the victim’s head hit the ground and he later received 14 stitches. 

Judge Mary Ellen Ring sentenced Brown to three years in jail with the last 18 months suspended. She imposed a suspended sentence of two and a half years on O’Brien.

Commenting on the Mr Kheffache’s concern for his dog, Judge Ring said these types of attacks can cause upset to people or pets who witness them and that this was a valid point to raise to the court.

Garda Ronan Goggin told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that the victim and his girlfriend had gone into a McDonalds restaurant where they saw three drunk men and decided to go instead to a nearby Burger King outlet.

Mr Kheffache waited outside with his dog while his girlfriend went in to order food. The three men walked over to him and surrounded him.

One man threw a piece of his burger at the dog and Mr Kheffache asked him not to do that. The court heard he felt cornered and in fear when Brown challenged him to hit him.

The victim moved the dog inside the restaurant to protect it and pushed Brown away. Brown reacted by punching him before the other men joined in.

Mr Kheffache fell to the ground while trying to defend himself while the attackers kicked him to the head and body. He managed to stand up again and held one of his attackers up against the wall until this man bit his ear.

As the group left O’Brien picked up a stool and threw it at the couple.

Counsel for the men said they were both drunk and wished to apologise for their actions.

Brown’s 40 previous convictions include a hit and run, public intoxication, assault, robbery, burglary and car theft. O’Brien has no other convictions.

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