Tuesday 20 August 2019

Jail for teen who slashed tourist in 'vicious' Stanley knife attack

Sergee Kelly at Donegal Town Circuit Court yesterday
Sergee Kelly at Donegal Town Circuit Court yesterday

Gerry McLaughlin

A teenager who "viciously" slashed a Scottish tourist in face and chest with a Stanley knife has been jailed for two years.

Donegal Town Circuit Court heard that Sergee Kelly's victim Brody Williams (25) needed 57 stitches to wounds in his face and 17 stitches to his chest following the attack in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

Judge John Aylmer told Kelly (18), of Upper Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, that a suspended jail sentence would "send out the wrong message to young men who have recourse to assault with a weapon".

He added the offence "was far too serious to wholly suspend the sentence" and it was an "unprovoked assault".

The judge imposed a four-year jail sentence on the defendant, with the final two suspended.

Kicked

The judge said Kelly was part of a "gang who battered and kicked Brody Williams after he had rightfully remonstrated with them for anti-social behaviour".

Garda Christopher Sweeney had told the court the youths were smashing glass on the ground underneath the victim's flat at Assaroe Falls at the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon when the victim asked them to stop. Mr Williams called down to the youths and seven of them attacked him, including the defendant.

Kelly, who was adopted from Belarus at the age of three, had pleaded guilty to a charge that he assaulted Mr Williams, a Scottish visitor to the Festival on June 2, 2017, causing him serious harm.

His victim suffered horrific injuries, leaving him permanently scarred, the court heard. The defendant was 17 when the offence occurred.

A harrowing victim impact statement gave graphic details of the life-altering injuries Masters graduate Mr Williams suffered. He was not able to come to court, but it was read out in his absence.

"I look and feel like a different person with a scar which doctors were too scared to treat," it read.

"I suffered life changing injuries for no reason or fault of my own and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I have a horrible reminder by looking in the mirror after I meet someone."

The statement added the victim suffered alopecia as a result of the stress, weight loss and panic attacks.

Irish Independent

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