Tuesday 20 February 2018

Milk man left his brother with brain injury after 'vicious and prolonged assault'

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

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Mayo resident and former milk delivery man who left his brother with a brain injury after a “vicious and prolonged assault” has received a three and a half year suspended sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that at the time he attacked his brother, Gordon Rodgers (36) had been self medicating with alcohol and cannabis. He was later hospitalised with severe mental health issues.

Garda Padraig Walsh told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that David Rodgers suffered a fractured skull, elbow and ribs, had blood in his urine and pressure inside his head. The garda said Mr Rodgers took a long time to recover from the assault.

Gordon Rodgers, of Lilrose House, Castle Road, Ballina, pleaded guilty to assaulting David Rodgers causing him harm at Dunard Road, Blackhorse Avenue, Cabra, Dublin 7 on May 5, 2016. He has previous convictions for road traffic matters.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that this was “a vicious and prolonged assault” after which the victim was left in a coma for some time.

He noted that Gordon Rodgers was suffering from a psychiatric condition at the time, but said a guilty plea had been entered to the assault and he was sentencing on that basis.

“At the date of the incident, Mr Rodgers was mentally unstable and acting under his disability,” the judge said.

The judge added that he had no reason to believe Rodgers would repeat his “terrible behaviour”.

The court heard that gardaí had been called to the Dunard Road address about a domestic situation between the two brothers a few hours before Gordon Rodgers rang an ambulance for his brother.

Gda Walsh said Rodgers called 999 and reported his brother on the ground bleeding.

The garda said there had been initial difficulty getting a witness statement from the victim as he had no memory of the incident after he woke up in hospital.

David Rodgers said he recalled having a beer and watching TV after an ongoing dispute with this brother, before waking up in hospital six days later.

The court heard the injured party then had flashbacks of the attack, during which he remembered his brother swinging something at him.

Gordon Rodgers initially denied the assault but pleaded guilty at an early court date.

Judge Nolan acknowledged that Rodgers had engaged with psychiatric services, was on medication and had started a new relationship. His brother has also forgiven him, the court heard.

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