Saturday 19 October 2019

Judge's horror at debs stabbing

Ralph Riegel

A JUDGE expressed his horror at a brutal debs assault after it emerged that a pupil had gone to the school dance armed with a knife.

Judge Patrick Moran's comments came as Thomas Noonan (21) was jailed for three years for assault causing harm to another young man, Jonathan Gough (20), after a debs in Cork two years ago.

The Circuit Criminal Court judge said he was shocked that anyone would go to such an event armed with a knife.

The judge said it was no excuse that the defendants had consumed a substantial quantity of alcohol before the assault.

"An evening of celebration had effectively turned into a nightmare for Mr Gough," the judge said.

"This was a nasty incident. It is shocking that a knife was produced when people were out enjoying themselves," he added.

Noonan, from Brooklodge, Glanmire, Co Cork, received a four-year prison sentence -- with the final 12 months suspended -- for assault causing harm to Mr Gough on September 26, 2009.

Two other accused were also sentenced. Sean Greenwood (20) from Riverside, Glanmire, Co Cork, was jailed for three years with 18 months suspended for assault causing harm and violent disorder.

Jonathan Delaney (19), from Meadowbrook, Glanmire, was given a three-year suspended sentence.

Noonan and Greenwood were sentenced after being convicted by a Circuit Criminal Court jury following an eight-day trial.

Delaney had pleaded guilty to violent disorder and assault on the same date and location.

The court heard the assault occurred after a number of young people who had attended the Glanmire Community College debs dance in the Silversprings Moran Hotel had gone into Cork city centre.

The court heard that Noonan and the victim had a dispute at a fast-food outlet after Mr Gough told the defendant and his friends to leave his sister, Louise, alone.

Mr Gough and his sister left the area to walk towards the Metropole Hotel.

When Noonan produced the knife he was carrying, Mr Gough decided to move away.

However, he was subsequently followed and chased by Noonan and the other two defendants down to the city quays.

Judge Moran was told that while the victim has made a good physical recovery, the incident has left him shaken and he is now reluctant to go out in the city, particularly on his own.

Irish Independent

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