Tuesday 17 July 2018

Dad punched car driver who he claimed was 'smirking' at him

Photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing
Photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

Eimear Cotter

A man punched another in the face through an open car window because he felt the victim was “smirking” at him and he “lost the plot”.

Father-of-three Robert Ryan (23) was also upset at the time because there had been “stuff going on on social media” between the two families.

A court heard that Ryan has children with the victim’s ex-girlfriend.

Judge John Coughlan sentenced Ryan to four months in prison.

The defendant, of Donomore Park, Tallaght, admitted before Tallaght District Court to seriously assaulting Dermot Bennett.

Gda Padraic Syron said the injured party was sitting in his car in the corner of the car park of Mace in Killinarden on December 5, 2014 when Ryan came over.

Gda Syron said the defendant punched Mr Bennett in the face through the open window.

Gda Syron said Ryan made contact with the side of the victim’s face, and Mr Bennett suffered bruising to his eye.

The officer handed a medical report into court.

In his evidence, Mr Bennett said it had taken him two weeks to recover from the assault, and he was also out of work for two weeks, losing nearly €1,000 in wages.

The court heard that Ryan, who is unemployed and on social welfare, had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Kevin Tunney said Ryan fully co-operated with gardai and made a statement to officers.

Mr Tunney said there was a history to the assault and that Ryan has children with the victim’s ex-partner.

He said there was “stuff going on on social media” which upset his client, and added that there has been nothing since this incident.

Mr Tunney said that on the day in question, Ryan felt that the victim was smirking at him and he “lost the plot”.

The lawyer said Ryan was willing to pay compensation to the injured party, but that he would need time to save the money.

Judge Coughlan imposed the four-month sentence, saying the assault took place 16 months ago and the defendant had made no effort to save compensation.

Ryan has appealed the sentence.

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