Brothers who assaulted gardai in a 'nasty and unprovoked attack' jailed
Two brothers who assaulted two gardaí, punching them both several times to the head in a self-confessed “nasty and unprovoked attack” have been jailed.
Dylan Fogarty (24) got two years in prison while his younger brother Dean Fogarty (21) was jailed for one year and nine months.
The pair both with an address at Dunard Avenue, Cabra, Dublin pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm to Garda Denise Larkin and Garda Peter Ryan at Manor Street, Dublin, on August 5, 2016. Two counts of the theft of bikes were taken into account.
The entire incident was captured on CCTV footage, which was played in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Footage showed the pair smiling and high-fiving each other shortly after the attack.
Sentencing the men today, Judge Terence O'Sullivan said this was “a nasty assault indeed” and noted that both gardai suffered concussion and scarring after the attack.
He imposed partially suspended two and a half year sentences on both brothers. He suspended the final six months of Dylan Fogarty's sentence and gave Dean Fogarty a final nine months suspension because he had been making greater efforts at rehabilitation.
Dean Fogarty was arrested in his home a few months after the attack following garda investigations. Dylan Fogarty presented himself at a garda station shortly afterwards.
Sergeant Liam McLoughlin told Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that Gda Larkin and Gda Ryan were on patrol in the area on the night in question when they noticed a group of young men, including the Fogarty brothers.
They approached the group when they noticed another young man was smoking cannabis, and asked him to hand the joint over.
The court heard Dean Fogarty immediately responded with “pure aggression” and told Gda Larkin “don't touch my f****** cousin”, before pushing the garda to the ground.
She fell to the ground disorientated, as Dylan Fogarty stepped in and punched Garda Ryan a number of times to the head, who reported putting his hands up to his head to try and defend himself.
Gda Ryan said he wasn't sure how many times he was punched in the head, but he was in “severe and immediate pain” and “feared for his life” the court heard.
He could heard Gda Larkin calling for assistance, before Dylan Fogarty approached her while she was on the ground and started punching her to both sides of the head “with every ounce of strength he had”, the court heard.
Gda Larkin reported Dylan Fogarty as having “the stance of an animal” as he approached her with fists clenched.
“I was in fear and disbelief,” she told gardaí, the court heard. “I thought I was about to be badly harmed.”
She was punched about five times to the head. “I can still see him coming at me with clenched fists,” she told gardaí after the attack.
The group of young men split up, with the Fogarty brothers hiding under a van for a period of time. They were captured on CCTV footage entering an apartment block shortly afterwards, smiling and exchanging a high five.
Victim impact statements from both gardaí were not read out in court after Judge O'Sullivan said he would read them instead. Medical reports outlining their injuries were also handed into court.
Mr Devitt said the victim impact reports outlined not only the physical injuries suffered, but the mental health issues that both gardaí faced in the aftermath of the assault.
The court heard Dylan Fogarty has ten previous convictions, including obstructing a garda officer, criminal damage and burglary.
Dean Fogarty has eight previous convictions, including burglary, theft and criminal damage. He has been in custody since last June for a burglary offence.
When arrested and interviewed, Dean Fogarty made admissions to gardaí “fairly readily”, the court heard. He said he “threw them a few digs” and that he regretted it. He said he was drunk and had taken pills at the time.
When interviewed, Dylan Fogarty told gardaí: “I don't know what came over me”, adding “I'm an arsehole on drink and tablets”. He said he had taken alcohol, pills and cocaine that night.
“They didn't deserve that,” he said of the victims. “They were just doing their job. It was a nasty, unprovoked attack.”
Both men pleaded guilty at the earliest possible date, the court heard.
Anne-Marie Lawlor SC, representing Dean Fogarty, said her client had “enormous regret” for his actions. “He had imbibed such a quantity of intoxicants he acted in an out of character fashion,” she said, noting he had “no history of violent offending whatsoever”.
She said her client was now drug-free and was an enhanced prisoner in custody, working in the prison bakery. The court heard Dean Fogarty left school at the age of 15, worked in various security jobs and had a partner and two-year-old child.
Ms Lawlor urged Judge O'Sullivan to “have regard for his youth” when passing sentence.
Sandra Frayne BL, representing Dylan Fogarty, said her client still struggled with cannabis use, but otherwise had reduced his substance abuse substantially. She said he also left school after doing his junior Cert and worked in various jobs in printing, retail and marketing.
He is not currently working, suffers from psychological issues and is one anti-depressant medication, the court heard.
“He is extremely apologetic and contrite,” Ms Frayne said. “What he did was horrendous.”