A MAN has been remanded on bail pending sentence for his role in an “apparent” unprovoked attack on a French tourist almost three years ago.
Darren O’Byrne (24) admitted that he kicked Victor Ribeiro in the face but said he hadn’t been part of the initial group of youths that launched the attack.
Mr Ribeiro was on holiday in Ireland and returned to France a short time later. He has since made a full recovery.
He had been treated in accident and emergency in Tallaght Hospital for his injuries which included a cut to his head, a bloody nose and bruising and swelling to his face.
O’Byrne of Cloonmore Park, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown on June 19, 2010. He has one previous conviction for possession of drugs and has not come to garda attention since.
Two other people had been arrested for the assault, one was never prosecuted and the other received a juvenile caution.
Garda Stephen Nealon told John Fitzgerald BL, prosecuting that the victim had been returning from a night out when he met a group of youths at Fortunestown Road.
He started a conversation with them but was suddenly punched to the face. He was hit repeatedly and fell to the ground.
Gda Nealon said eight more people arrived, including two young girls and the group continued to attack Mr Ribeiro while he sat on a crouched position on his knees.
The victim received a series of kicks and punches but when he tried to get away he was pushed back down to the ground before the group ran away.
Several of the group were caught after an “extended foot chase”. There was blood on O’Byrne’s top and when this was confirmed as being that of the victim’s, O’Byrne was arrested the following month.
He made admissions and said he had kicked the man in the face but maintained that he was not part of the initial group.
Gda Nealon agreed with Christina Alice Daly BL, defending, that gardaí were satisfied that her client was telling the truth about the extent of his own involvement. Ms Daly said her client had €1,600 in court as an expression of his remorse for his involvement in the night.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring remanded O’Byrne in custody today for over two hours while she considered the case.
She said she had “a particular concern” about attacks such as this which involve kicks and punches to the head and face and have the potential for having “long term serious and devastating consequences for the victim”.
“He was a visitor to this country and appears to have been set upon by a group of people for no apparent reason and could have been very badly injured,” Judge Ring said.
She adjourned sentencing to May and ordered a report from the Probation Services for that hearing to “explore the possibility” of O’Byrne doing community service.
“These types of assaults are all too prevalent and if custody is the only way to deal with it then the court is not afraid to do that,” Judge Ring added.