FIVE men have avoided jail for their part in a violent attack against their cousin in a packed motor tax office.
Six members of the Stokes family threw punches at Martin Stokes because of a row that had started over a halting site boxing competition, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
Brian Stokes (35) of Oldcastle Park Lawns, Martin Stokes Junior (20), Edward Stokes (23), John Stokes Senior (45) and John Stokes Junior (20), all of Oldcastle Park Green, Clondalkin all pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the Motor Tax Office, Ninth Lock Road, Clondalkin on June 8, 2012.
Judge Martin Nolan accepted that most of the men have no previous convictions or only convictions for minor road traffic offences. He imposed a sentence of two and a half years on each of them but suspended it in full on condition that they are of good behaviour for that period.
Martin Stokes Senior(26), who previously represented Ireland as a boxer, pleaded guilty to the same violent disorder and to producing a hatchet during the attack. Judge Nolan adjourned his sentencing until next moth.
Garda Dave Gilmore told the court that the feud has quietened down and that there are no longer any tensions between the two factions of the family.
CCTV footage showed Martin Stokes Senior pulling the hatchet out from his trousers and going back to the group who were attacking his cousin and swinging the hatchet.
The court heard that members of the public in the office that day were upset and frightened and some children were crying after the attack.
Martin Stokes Senior also pleaded guilty to possession of a machete and a hatchet on the Naas Road, Clondalkin on the day after the tax office incident and to assault of a man at the Oldcastle Park Green halting site on December 19, 2012.
The court heard that gardai had to be called out to the halting site to break up a row between two large groups of men who were squaring up and threatening each other.
Michael Bowman BL, defending, told Judge Nolan that Martin Stokes Senior had an axe with him in the tax office that day for his own protection after he had been assaulted a few days previously with a machete.
He had been chased into a house with the weapon where his face was slashed and his arm cut as he tried to defend himself.
Judge Nolan said that this was some form of dispute which had previously led to intermittent violence that spilled over when the two factions met at the tax office.
He said the production of the axe had “instilled some fear” in the people there and the victim but accepted the submission that Martin Stokes Senior had it for his own “self-preservation”.