Cousins avoid jail term after violent attack over taxi
Three cousins have been given suspended sentences for their violent attack on three Polish men after a dispute over a taxi.
Wayne (25), David (24) and Dean (22) Gilsenan all pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Coolamber Drive, Rathcoole, on January 31, 2010.
Their victims, Piotr Kasperek, Piotr Radak and Rafal Janiszewski were left with a fractured skull, a broken arm and various cuts requiring stitches after they were attacked with bottles.
The men, who were not able to identify their culprits, later reported to gardai that they heard “ethnic taunts” during the attack but the cousins denied that there was a racist element to the attack.
The Gilsenans were arrested after eye-witnesses identified them as culprits and forensic evidence linked them to the crime.
Wayne of St Mark’s Gardens, Ronanstown, had seven previous convictions for road traffic and public order offences, while David of Kilmahuddrick Court, Clondakin, has no previous convictions and has never come to garda attention.
Dean of Kilmahuddick Green, also in Clondalkin, had seven previous convictions for road traffic offences.
Judge Patricia Ryan imposed two year sentences which she suspended in full for three years on each of the cousins on strict conditions.
Garda Michelle O’Brien told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that Mr Kasperek had been attending a house party with his wife, when he ordered a taxi to take them home.
His wife was in the back of the taxi when the Gilsenans came along and tried to get into it with her.
A row broke out and Mr Kasperek was hit with a bottle on his head and then kicked in the face as he lay on the ground. He subsequently received stitches to a cut to his mouth and was discharged from hospital later that night.
He returned to Saint James’s Hospital the following day when he continued to suffer headaches and it was discovered that he had a fractured skull.
He later reported to gardai that he heard “ethnic taunts” during the attack.
Gda O’Brien told Mr Naidoo that it was Mr Janiszewski birthday that night and the other two men had been attending a party at his house.
He witnessed the attack on his friend, Mr Kasperek, and got “a few blows” to the back of his head when he went to his assistance. He fell to the ground but was hit with a stick when he got back on his feet.
Mr Janiszewski received 11 stitches to the back of his head and three stitches to his eyes. He was not able to recognise his attackers.
Mr Radak was due to take the taxi with Mr Kasperek. He saw his two friends being attacked and noticed that the culprits had a box full of beer bottles with them at the time.
He was also attacked with the bottles and received cuts to his arms when he tried to defend himself. Mr Radak was later treated for a broken arm in hospital.
Gda O’Brien said the Gilsenans fled after a group of people came out from the house party. They stopped a short distance away and continued to shout abuse at the men.
She said there were a number of eye witnesses to the attack who were later able to point out the three cousins as the culprits.
Gda O’Brien said she tried to arrest the three but they put up a short struggle and repeatedly told her to “fuck off”.
They were taken to Clondalkin station but nothing “of evidential value” came out of their interviews.
The men were arrested after forensic evidence of DNA samples found on their clothing, linked them to the attack.
Gda O’Brien said each of the Gilsenans gave “a different version of the events”.
Gda O’Brien agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending Wayne Gilsenan, that the attack was alcohol fuelled and that despite initially resisting arrest, he later co-operated and offered a full apology.
She also agreed with Michael Bowman BL, defending David Gilsenan that he is the eldest of four children and as his mother is in ill-health, he is a great support to his family.
Pieter Le Vert BL, defending Dean Gilsenan, told Gda O’Brien that his client wished to offer an unreserved apology to the three men.
Mr Spencer submitted to Judge Ryan that it had been “an isolated incident” which was uncharacteristic of all three men.
He said his client was an avid footballer and handed references into court describing him as a dependable and trustworthy person. He said Wayne has joint custody with his first child and his current partner is due his second.
Mr Bowman said although his client, David Gilsenan, was unknown to gardai at the time, the incident itself “speaks poorly” of his behaviour.
He told Judge Ryan that his client takes responsibility for his actions on the night but asked her to accept that it was “a few moments of gross stupidity”.
Mr Le Vert said his client, Dean Gilsenan, was the youngest of a family of three, and a man of impeccable character who was an exemplary athlete. He recently won a Leinster Novice Boxing Championship and a reference from his local club described him as disciplined.
He had recently received a qualification that allowed him to train younger children.
A number of references were also handed in on his behalf which described Dean as “a credit to his parents “and a “pleasant character.