Garda guilty of street assault
AN OFF-duty garda has pleaded guilty to assaulting a young man who was left with bleeding to the brain.
Dean Foley, a garda based in Bantry in west Cork, pleaded guilty before the Circuit Criminal Court yesterday to assault causing harm to Stephen Gerard Murphy.
Mr Murphy suffered a broken nose, facial fractures, broken teeth and bleeding to the brain after the assault. The court heard the brain injuries Mr Murphy sustained were such that he has no recollection of the assault which left him lying unconscious on a city pavement.
The assault occurred on the Grand Parade in Cork city centre on September 12, 2009, after Mr Murphy had gone out with friends to mark his impending move to Australia.
The garda's brother, Travis Foley, denied a similar charge of assault causing harm to Mr Murphy. However, he later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault.
Both Dean and Travis Foley have addresses at Tradean, Knocknasuff, Blarney, Co Cork.
Judge Sean O Donnbhain and the Circuit Criminal Court jury heard Mr Murphy had consumed a quantity of alcohol in a city centre pub.
At around 11pm, he felt he was intoxicated and should go home. But as he walked through the city centre he heard someone comment on his clothes.
"They were commenting on my clothes, so I commented on their clothes," Mr Murphy said.
An independent witness, Charles Wilkinson, described the subsequent assault.
"When it happened I felt far too close to it -- I was glad I was in a taxi," he said.
Mr Wilkinson said one man (Mr Murphy) was forcibly pushed into a metal railing by one of two young men. He said the man (Mr Murphy) fell to the ground and the other person kicked him in the stomach.
When the young man (Mr Murphy) struggled to regain his feet, he was then attacked by the second individual.
Dean Foley will be sentenced on May 26 and his brother Travis Foley on June 27.