Thursday 22 March 2018

Man jailed for one year after fracturing victim's skull over stolen green bin

'I don't give a f*** about you or your heart attack'

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

Declan Brennan

A Dublin man who fractured his victim's skull during an attack over a stolen green bin has been jailed for one year.

Shane Murphy (25) 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 had left him feeling unsafe and vulnerable.

Murphy has 19 previous convictions including an assault in February 2015 and three assault convictions from 2012. He also has convictions for intoxication in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour, Garda David Brown previously told the court.

Sentencing Murphy to three years with the final two years suspended on Monday, Judge Catherine Murphy noted he was a young man of 19 at the time of the offence. She said he had shown “courage, tenacity and determination” in dealing with his drug addiction issues since then.

However, she said the assault was a serious one that involved “excessive force” and which continued to affect his victim to this day.

The court heard that the victim was in bed at around 10pm 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 f*** 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 had diagnosed his client as 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. He has since completed residential treatment.

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