Saturday 21 September 2019

Man who fractured teenager's skull with hurl jailed

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Dublin man who fractured a teenage boy's skull with a hurley while dispersing a group of youths has been jailed for two years.

Alan Curtis (34), of Stannaway Road, Kimmage, was unanimously convicted by a jury last October of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to then 16-year-old David McClelland at Cashel Road, Crumlin, Dublin, on March 28, 2014.

He had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the offence.

Curtis previously served a partially suspended six-year sentence for an assault causing serious harm to his former partner in a 2004 stabbing incident.

Judge Terence O'Sullivan said he accepted that Curtis had been at his mother's house when an incident involving about 20 youths occurred outside. He said Curtis saw someone damage his car and nominated McClelland as the culprit. Curtis grabbed the hurley and went out to chase away the boys, who had been playing music.

Judge O'Sullivan said he accepted that the injured party had attempted to strike Curtis with a plank, but missed.

The judge said if the incident had stopped then there would have been no problem, but Curtis followed McClelland some distance and hit him with the hurley.

He said the jury had taken the view Curtis was no longer defending himself but "had engaged in an act of revenge" by the time he hit the injured party. The judge imposed a four-year sentence with the final two years suspended.

Gda Darragh McNally said McClelland suffered a depressed skull fracture in the assault and underwent an emergency operation.

He was referred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital for treatment for this injury and damage to his speech mechanism.

A medical report from 2016 noted Mr McClelland complained that he still made errors with finding words, he suffered headaches and poor sleep and had missed a lot of school. The report concluded that risk of post-traumatic epilepsy was low.

In a victim impact report read by prosecution counsel Sinéad McMullan BL, McClelland said that it was a "huge personal achievement" to sit the Leaving Cert and that when his friends were celebrating their results, "I was just thankful to be alive".

Irish Independent

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