Thursday 23 October 2014

NY stockbroker looked 'as if he had been scalped' by muggers on first day in Ireland

Cormac Murphy and Jessica Magee

Published 30/07/2014 | 02:30

Garth Russell. Inset: The injuries he sustained to his face when he intervened to stop a mugging in Dublin
Judge Patrick McCartan
Judge Patrick McCartan
Garth Russell

A tourist who was assaulted after he intervened to stop a mugging, was told by a surgeon that it looked like someone tried to scalp him.

New York stockbroker Garth Russell and his brother were on the first day of their holiday in Ireland when they were attacked by four men on Dublin's Liffey quays.

Garth and his brother Patrick were set upon after intervening to stop a mugging, with Garth left suffering permanent facial scarring as well as glass embedded under his eye.

Three of the gang were jailed yesterday for between three and five years. It followed the sentencing of a fourth man last December to six years.

"For an idea of the injury, the surgeon that sewed me up in Ireland said it looked like someone had tried to scalp me," Garth told the Irish Independent. On the night in question – April 29, 2012 – the two brothers, as well as a nephew, were walking around Temple Bar.

"We were over to see where my grandfather grew up and to have an experience of Ireland. It was always something that we had looked forward to," Garth said.

When they came across the robbery at Merchant's Arch, Garth threatened to call the gardai. After a brief scuffle, the gang armed themselves with glass bottles and chased the three tourists down the quays.

Patrick's arm was "broken by a large bottle that was meant for my head", Garth said.

"My brother put up his arm in defence and the bottle broke it. I thank my brother for that. I had been hit with multiple bottles at that point. I was pretty out of it. When I was hit with the first one, that was the one that caused the scar that runs from my forehead down to my cheek.

"I couldn't see at that point. I had a lot of blood on my face. That's when things went very dark," he said.

Frankenstein

Praising the gardai, he said: "They identified these guys. It took them no time at all to find them." Despite the attack the Russells continued with their trip, with Garth walking "around looking like Frankenstein".

Ian Dent (21), of Stanaway Road, Crumlin, was sentenced in the Circuit Court to five years in jail on two counts of violent disorder. Aidan Finnegan (28), of Reuben Street, Rialto, was sentenced to four years after being found guilty of one count of violent disorder.

Richard Fish (24), of St Anthony's Road, Rialto, had pleaded guilty to two counts of violent disorder and was sentenced to three years in prison.

A fourth accused, Anthony Clifford (23) of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, was sentenced last December to six years in jail with one year suspended after pleading guilty to two counts of violent disorder.

Judge Patrick McCartan criticised the juvenile justice system as being incapable of dealing with violent young men who "prowl the streets taking their opportunities as they arrive".

He said the three attackers had come through the "well-worn path" of the juvenile criminal justice system, which he said did not seem "in any way adequately resourced or capable of dealing with them".

"This is something that needs to be considered by legislators because it is a recurring feature of these courts," the judge added.

Irish Independent

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