Monday 23 October 2017

Two men who threw stones at bus injuring passenger spared a prison sentence

Courts of Criminal Justice
Courts of Criminal Justice

Declan Brennan

Two men who threw stones at a moving bus causing injury to one of the passengers have been spared a prison sentence after a judge jailed them for one night.

Michael Jennings (19) and Aaron Handyside (18) threw stones at a night bus transporting bus drivers home after they had finished their day’s work.

The stone thrown by Jennings went through a window, sending broken glass into the eye of Darren Brien.

Jennings of Davitt Park, Ballybrack, Dublin and Handyside of Maple Avenue, Shankill, Dublin both pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to damaging the Volvo bus at Wyattville Road, Ballybrack, Dublin on February 2, 2013.

Jennings also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Brien. Neither man has any other criminal convictions.

On Thursday Judge Martin Nolan jailed the two men overnight. Today he suspended a prison sentence of nine months for both men on condition they keep the peace.

Before sentencing, lawyers for the two men submitted to the court that they had limited education.

Judge Nolan responded: “You don’t need to be a genius to know you don’t throw stones at buses. It’s blindingly obvious that it’s dangerous to throw stones at buses. A bus could have crashed.”

Dean Kelly BL, defending Jennings, said this was a moronic and mindless act. He said the consequences could have been much worse.

Garda Kerry Connor agreed that Jennings was otherwise “a nice lad”.

The two were arrested as a result of “on the grapevine” information coming to officials of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council. One of these officials went to Jennings’ home and he immediately admitted what he had done.

Mr Kelly said his client was genuinely terrified of going to prison and had made a genuine apology. He had also brought a sum of €1,500 to court as an expression of his remorse.

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