Sunday 19 November 2017

Man jailed for torture attacks on men with disabilities

Ann Healy

A MAN assaulted two intellectually disabled men and tortured one of them with a lit cigarette during a drinking binge on Inishmore, a court heard.

Gary Walsh (36) has been sentenced to four years in prison with 18 months suspended after he pleaded guilty to assaulting the men, who are in their early 20s, at Kilronan, Inishmore, on August 6, 2011.

Galway Circuit Criminal Court heard that Walsh arranged to meet the men, who are patients of the Brothers of Charity in Galway city due to their intellectual disabilities, on Inishmore.

They all met up in a wooded area at the rear of a school in Kilronan where the accused began drinking.

Walsh grabbed his first victim and burnt the back of his hand with a lighted cigarette. It caused severe pain and blistering and Walsh just laughed when the victim asked him why he was doing it, the court heard.

Walsh continued drinking and blamed the other victim when he stumbled against a tree and tore his shirt. He repeatedly punched him in the face and kicked him.

Due to the severity of his injuries, he had to be transferred by lifeboat to the mainland and onward by ambulance to hospital.

Gardai found Walsh in a highly intoxicated state, vomiting at the rear of the school, where he was arrested.

Walsh, with an address at An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska, in Galway city, made limited admissions when later interviewed.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke sentenced Walsh to four years in prison for what he described as "violent, gratuitous and terrifying" assaults. He said the assault with the cigarette was "an inhuman act of torture".

Irish Independent

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