Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Adult ADHD' sufferer who bit off part of another man's ear walks free from court with suspended sentence

By Declan Brennan

An “adult ADHD” sufferer who bit off part of another man's ear has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

James Mooney (22) punched his victim, James Ferrari, in the head before biting hard into his ear and tearing part of it off.

The court heard from a doctor who said the condition of adult ADHD was a contributing factor in the late-night assault on April Fool's Day.

Mooney of Poolbeg Quay, Ringsend, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at a GAA club on Sean Moore Road, Ringsend on April 1, 2013.

Judge Desmond Hogan sentenced Mooney to four years in prison but suspended it in full for three years on condition that he complies with probation services for 12 months.

The court heard that Mooney is to hand over €5,000 to the victim as a practical expression of his remorse.

Judge Hogan said Mr Ferrari had been seriously injured and that Mooney was lucky he hadn't been charged with the offence of assault causing serious harm, which carries a heavier penalty.

In a victim impact report, Mr Ferrari said his life has been full of worry and depression since the attack. He has a recurring nightmare where he remembers first seeing his injury in a hospital mirror and breaking down, shaking and crying.

He said the attack has affected his job by making him more shy and he has lost contact with friends because he is not as sociable as he used to be. The father-of-one said he hopes to come to terms with the assault some day.

He underwent some surgery to the injury but decided not to pursue reconstruction of the ear after medical advice that it would be lengthy and costly.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Sean O’Domhnaill told Cathal McGreal BL, defending, that he treated Mooney and diagnosed him as having adult ADHD and that, as part of this disorder, he exhibited impulsivity resulting in an extremely over active mind.

The psychiatrist said that Mooney told him that after “all hell broke loose” during the assault he wasn’t conscious of having bitten anyone. He said Mooney had spent the evening self-restraining and avoiding confrontation with another man, Andrew Murren.

The court heard that Mr Murren, who was a friend of the victim, knew Mooney and was slagging him. The victim thought this was getting serious. He approached the men and told Mr Murren he was leaving.

Mr Ferrari told gardai that as he was leaving the club he was punched in the face by Mooney and he put his arms up to shield his face. He then felt Mooney biting hard into his ear. He felt blood running down his neck and felt flesh being torn away from his ear.

Mooney later confessed and said he didn’t intend to take the ear off. He told gardaí he didn’t know what happened to the missing part.

Garda Alan Byrne told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that the victim lost €1900 in lost earnings and paid out €350 in hospital fees, drugs and counselling.

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