Saturday 20 January 2018

Man fractured victim's skull and cheekbone in attack over stolen green bin

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Declan Brennan

A man fractured his victim's skull and cheekbone during an attack over a stolen green bin, a court has heard.

Shane Murphy (24) of Jugback Lane, Swords, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Aidan Mullen at Birchdale Road, Kinsealy on July 10, 2011.

The victim told the court that the assault was a harrowing experience that has left him feeling unsafe and vulnerable.

Murphy's 19 previous convictions include an assault from last February and three assault convictions from 2012. He also has convictions for intoxication in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour, Garda David Brown told Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting.

Judge Catherine Murphy adjourned sentencing to next February saying she wanted to read in full the victim impact report and a psychological report for the accused.

The court heard that the victim was in bed at around ten that night and was due to go to hospital the next day. His wife got him up when she saw two men taking their wheelie bin from in front of their home and into a nearby field.

Mr Mullen went outside and stood on a wall and saw the bin was on fire. He went to try to stop the fire getting worse when another man who was with Murphy confronted him.

Murphy then put his face into the victim's face and told him: “You're feeling very brave”. Mr Mullen turned around and started walking away but the two men ran up behind him.

Murphy thumped Mr Mullen across his face from behind and knocked him to the ground. He then knelt on his chest and struck him again in the face.

The victim tried to cover his face and told his attacker: “Please don't, I had a heart attack in March”, the court heard.

Murphy replied: “I don't give a fuck about you or your heart attack”. After the assault Murphy rejoined a group of men who were drinking in the field.

In a victim impact report the victim said he felt extreme pain in his face and back after the attack and suffered fractures to his skull and cheekbone.

His medical bills came to €1,500 and he lost €4,200 in missed income due to having to take time off work.

After his arrest Murphy admitted the assault and told gardaí: “I'm sorry for what I've done. If he were here I would say sorry to him. I wish I could go back”.

Cathal McGreal BL, defending, told the court that a medical report has diagnosed his client has having alcohol dependent syndrome and hyperactive compulsivity disorder.

He said his father was an alcoholic and he had a turbulent upbringing. Counsel said Murphy's previous convictions were all related to his drinking problem and that he was not aggressive when sober.

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