Youth blinded nurse in 'egging' attack from car
Published 06/11/2009 | 05:00
A youth blinded a nurse in one eye by "egging" her from a passing car, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.
David Morgan (18) was out "egging", or throwing eggs, with his friends when he hit the woman as she was out walking.
The victim previously rejected an offer of €10,000 compensation. Judge Katherine Delahunt adjourned the case until next month to find out if she would accept the money going to charity instead.
Morgan, of The Green, Woodbrook Glen, Bray, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Ann Dooley on the Bray Road on March 26, 2008.
Morgan took the stand to read out an apology to the victim, saying he "would have done anything for this not to have happened".
Ms Dooley's victim impact report stated: "Not a minute goes by where the attack does not affect my life." She said she suffers from regular headaches and is self-conscious about her appearance. She rejected Morgan's offer of €10,000 as an "insult" which belittled her injury. She refused to accept a letter of apology from him.
Detective Garda David Jones said that Morgan had never been in trouble with gardai before the incident and was genuinely remorseful. Judge Delahunt heard that Ms Dooley did not want him to go to jail.
Det Gda Jones told prosecuting counsel, Garret Baker, that Morgan had met up with his friends to go a party and "egg" the people there. They bought 30 eggs on the way.
En route, Morgan saw a group of young people and was going to throw an egg at them, but then saw Ms Dooley and her friends. He threw the egg at them instead, hitting Ms Dooley's left eye.
She was in "very severe pain" and was brought to a nearby house where her husband picked her up, before bringing her to Dublin's Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.
The lens of her left eye was almost completely destroyed. She lost all sight in the eye, had to get a prosthetic cover fitted and was told there was a chance the eye might have to be removed in the future.
The victim incurred medical expenses of nearly €12,000 and claimed she had lost earnings of €1.5m -- as she was planning on returning to work as a nurse but could no longer do this.
A man whose house was egged from a car gave investigating gardai the registration number, which was traced to one of Morgan's friends. Morgan admitted everything to gardai and said he was shocked when he realised he had thrown the egg at a grown woman and not another youth. Defence counsel, Justin McQuade, called it a "practical joke gone wrong".
Adjourning the case, Judge Delahunt commented: "There are elderly people in this city who are being attacked in the same way as Ms Dooley."