Monday 5 December 2016

Teen who knocked girl unconscious may be given community service in lieu of sentence

Sonya McLean

Published 13/10/2015 | 17:34

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

A teenager who knocked a girl unconscious with a “ferocious dig in the face” after she confronted him and his friends for calling her names may be ordered to do community service in lieu of a prison sentence.

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Aaron Daly (19) was out with his girlfriend and their friends when the group came across then 20-year-old Jamie Kelly and her friends. Daly's group started shouting abusive comments and Ms Kelly approached them about it.

She was walking away when a glass bottle was thrown in her direction. The bottle smashed and a piece of glass cut Ms Kelly's arm, so she returned to the group and confronted them.

She subsequently told gardaí she has no recollection of what happened next because she was knocked out.

Ms Kelly was later treated in hospital for a large cut above her left eye and swelling. She was too embarrassed to leave her house for a number of days because of her injuries.

Daly of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Ms Kelly causing her harm at Marigold Crescent, also in Darndale on April 21, 2013. He was 17 years old at the time and has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was a severe punch to the face which rendered Ms Kelly unconscious. He said there was no excuse for what Daly did.

“He lost control and punched her without any good reason,” the judge said before he accepted that Daly had no criminal record and was sincerely remorseful.

He adjourned the case to December, ordered a report from the Probation Service to see if Daly was suitable for community service and told him to have €1,500 in court for Ms Kelly on that date.

Sergeant Damien Mangan told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, that Ms Kelly's friend witnessed the assault and later told gardaí that Daly hit the victim “a ferocious dig in the face and knocked her out”.

Daly wasn't known by name to the victim and her friends so it was some time before gardaí identified him and questioned him. He provided a false alibi and denied the assault until gardaí put other witness statements to him.

Aoife Nickle BL, defending said her client was ashamed of his behaviour and submitted that the attack was totally out of character.

She said he had since become a father and was also diagnosed with schizophrenia in January 2014. He had written a letter of apology for Ms Kelly which counsel requested be handed over to her.

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