Man who knocked victim unconscious after wrongly believing he had insulted his girlfriend, avoids jail
A man who left his victim with a fractured jaw after he knocked him unconscious in a case of mistaken identity has received a fully suspended sentence.
Ciaran McGuire (21) had wrongly thought Stephen McQuillan had insulted his girlfriend when he struck him to the side of his face, as the victim and his girlfriend were waiting for a taxi.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced McGuire to three years imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in full on strict conditions including that he hand over €3,000 in compensation to the prosecuting garda and hand over a further €10,000 within an 18 month period.
“If he has to borrow it or beg it he must do it,” Judge Nolan said. He said that if the injured party was not interested in the monies then the court would transfer them to a charity.
Garda Alan Mooney told Barry Ward BL, prosecuting, that Mr McQuillan was aware of a verbal altercation in the pub between McGuire and someone else but had nothing to do with it. He had just left the pub along with his girlfriend before he was knocked to the ground when he was hit to the left side of his face.
The victim's girlfriend later told gardaí that she heard a bang and saw that Mr McQuillan had fallen face first onto the ground. She could see he had lost his teeth and there was blood coming from his mouth.
He admitted his involvement and was contrite and apologised for his behaviour. He said it had essentially been a case of “misidentifying” the victim as being the person who had made a comment about his partner.
Ms Stuart said a probation report had highlighted some “red flags” in that her client had problems with managing his anger and impulsivity and he had since “undertook an anger management class”.
“He has shown he is a man who can work hard and has done his best to reform himself,” Ms Stuart submitted.