Sunday 28 May 2017

Pair avoid jail after attack that left victims 'scarred'

Declan Brennan

A COUPLE with six children have avoided a jail term for taking part in a vicious and unprovoked assault on an army sergeant and his wife.

The victim told the court that he had never seen or experienced such violence before -- not even when he was in the Lebanon or during the Troubles in an army career spanning three decades.

Wesley Condon (34), of Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault causing harm to Christopher Mahon and his wife Rose Mahon at the Ballyfermot Road on May 1, 2010.

His partner Michelle Kelly (38) pleaded guilty to assault causing harm of Rose Mahon during the same incident.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the victims, who are in their 50s, were on their way home from a night out when they were set upon by the attackers and kicked and punched as they lay on the ground.

Mr Mahon, who has served in the Irish Defence Forces for 31 years, read an emotionally charged victim impact statement saying he had never witnessed such an attack before, despite serving during the Troubles and in Lebanon.

Garda John Griffin told Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that the couple were on their way home at around 2am when they heard Kelly, Condon and a third man shouting abuse and gesturing at them from across the road.

Mr Mahon agreed with his wife to ignore them and keep walking. After the group got into a taxi Mr Mahon approached them and asked them why they were saying things about his wife.

Mr Mahon told gardai that the next thing he knew he was on the ground and receiving "kicks and digs" in the head and ribs. He kept trying to get up but was unable to because of the blows "raining" down on him.

He looked across to his wife and saw she was on the ground and that Michelle Kelly was kicking her in the face. He then saw Condon kicking his wife and punching her in the head.

Scarred

After the attackers walked away, Mr Mahon crawled over to his wife and picked her up and hailed a taxi.

The court heard that he was anxious because he saw Condon turning back to them. Condon then stood in the middle of the road and tried, but failed, to stop the taxi moving off.

In his victim impact statement, Mr Mahon said the attack had left him and his wife "scarred to this day".

Watching his wife being punched and kicked with "so much ferocity" while he lay on the ground unable to get to her would haunt him for the rest of his life, Mr Mahon said.

The judge said he was taking into consideration the attackers' guilty pleas, their remorse and good character and their family circumstances and suspended a sentence of three years for each of them.

Irish Independent

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