Wednesday 21 February 2018

Man involved in racist assault that resulted in law student losing sight in eye has jail term cut

Aaron Shattock at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he jailed for two years Photo: Courts Collins
Aaron Shattock at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he jailed for two years Photo: Courts Collins

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A Dublin man involved in an attack marked by racial abuse, which cost an Iraqi immigrant the sight in one of his eyes, has had his jail term cut on appeal.

Aaron Shattock (20), of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, Dublin 24, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at the M50 exit 11 pedestrian walkway on August 21, 2013.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Martin Nolan on April 17, 2015.

Shattock successfully appealed against the severity of his jail term today with the court holding that further allowance ought to have been made for what the sentencing judge described as “perfect mitigation”.

Giving judgment in the three-judge Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the injured party and his cousin were talking to a girl at the pedestrian walkway in Tallaght, when Shattock, who knew the girl, stopped and enaged in conversation with them.

A short time later, a group of about 12 to 15 young people arrived and members of this group began calling the injured party and his cousin “Paki's”.

IN the course of a “general attack”, Shattock forcibly threw a stick at the injured party causing an injury such that he lost his sight in that eye. The injured party grabbed Shattock, they both fell to the ground where the injured party was kicked and punched.

Shattock got up and again punched the injured party before running off.

The injured party had great difficulty in accepting his injuries, Mr Justice Sheehan said. He fears he'll lose the sight in his other eye which has stopped him from playing contact sports.

It had appalling consequences on the “young immigrant”, the judge said. While he appears to have had started a college course as a law student, he has since dropped out.

Shattock had “perfect mitigation” according to the sentencing judge including remorse, his youth, previous good character and working record. He was not the “instigator of the racial abuse which marked the attack” and his co-accused was dealt with non-custodially in the children's court.

The Court of Appeal concluded that the judge ought to have made further allowance of one-quarter.

The justice of the case could be met by leaving three-and-a-half years in place but suspending the final two years, Mr Justice Sheehan said in his judgment delivered alongside Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Alan Mahon.

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