Friday 23 August 2019

Personal trainer jailed for eight years after beating 'with all his strength' a man who interfered with his girlfriend's car

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Sonya McLean

A personal trainer who beat “with all his strength” a man who interfered with his girlfriend's car - leaving him deaf, with a fractured skull, and needing 24-hour care - has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

When Aaron Wilson (30) was alerted to the fact that Aaron Kiely (32) and his girlfriend were interfering with plastic surrounding a window on Wilson's partner's car he left his home to pursue the couple.

He later attacked Mr Kiely on three separate occasions, during which he punched him, kicked him, stamped on him and used a chair to beat him “with all his strength”.

Mr Kiely had been deaf in his left ear before the assault, but lost the hearing in his other ear as a result of the attack. He was left with fractures to both sides of his skull and a blood clot on his brain. He is now unable to live on his own and needs 24-hour care.

Wilson was due to stand trial in November 2016 but failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued. The warrant was executed in September 2018 and he has been on remand in prison since. He pleaded guilty to the charge last May.

Garda William Wright told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that Mr Kiely's girlfriend later told gardaí that when Wilson first caught up with them, he tripped the victim and “booted him in the body”.

He then picked up a nearby chair and used it to hit the victim.

The woman said Wilson then raised the chair above his head and "hit Aaron using all of his strength”.

They managed to get away, but Wilson followed them.

Mr Kiely was then attacked a second time, during which time the woman said Mr Kiely was again “booted”.

He was punched and knocked to the ground where he was continually kicked.

The woman said when this assault ended she noticed that Mr Kiely had “a busted eye”, but he was talking normally. Mr Kiely stopped and asked someone for a cigarette when the woman said Wilson and another man appeared again.

The men started punching the victim and Mr Kiely shouted at her to run. She said as she ran off she could see that Mr Kiely was being hit and kicked and he was being stamped on.

The major damage was done after the final attack. He was able to escape from the two previous attacks. Judge Martin Nolan

Gda Wright said two men walking by later spotted Mr Kiely lying on the ground on Patrick Street, Dublin 8.

He was trying to breathe and bubbles of blood were coming out of his mouth. They called the emergency services and he was later transferred to Beamount Hospital were he was treated for a significant head injury.

Mr McGillicuddy said that when Mr Kiely was first assessed at hospital his level of consciousness was at the lowest possible range on the scale. This later improved, but he was still considered to be at a seriously low level of consciousness.

Victim impact reports from Mr Kiely and his sister Norah, who cares for him, were handed into court but not read out.

Wilson of Thomond Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm to Mr Kiely in Dublin 8 on January 19, 2014. His 14 previous convictions are for minor road traffic offences.

Judge Martin Nolan said “undoubtedly, madness overtook” Wilson on the night when he saw that Mr Kiely had “interfered with a car” owned by his partner.

Mr Kiely shouted at her to run. She said as she ran off she could see that Mr Kiely was being hit and kicked and he was being stamped on.

The judge said a pursuit then took place and Wilson was involved in three “particularly violent” attacks which involved kicking, punching and the use of a chair.

“I must infer that the major damage was done after the final attack. He was able to escape from the two previous attacks,” Judge Nolan said.

He said the victim impact report demonstrates that Mr Kiely was still suffering, “as is his family”. He said he struggles with his balance and drags his foot which has caused him to fall in the past and it is likely that he will fall again.

“He has been left in a very distressed state and it is unlikely that he will be able to work in the future or contribute to society,” Judge Nolan said.

Judge Nolan said the injuries sustained were predictable considering the attack and said that without mitigation the case deserved a 12-year sentence.

He took into account the fact that Wilson ultimately pleaded guilty, having previously taken a bench warrant when he failed to appear for a trial date.

He also took into account various reports from the prison where Wilson has been on remand, including a letter from the prison chaplain that stated he was genuinely remorseful for his behaviour that night.

Judge Nolan also accepted that Wilson does not have any previous “relevant” convictions before he jailed him for eight-and-a-half years.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the events on the night during which the victim, his girlfriend and Mr Wilson were pointed out to the court.

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said that Wilson acted “entirely disproportionately” by leaving his apartment and chasing the couple. He described the attacks as both “ferocious and intense” and said his behaviour was “totally unreasonable”.

He said his client was genuinely remorseful and asked the judge to accept that Wilson's behaviour of fleeing on the day of his trial, “were the acts of someone who was very afraid”.

Counsel submitted that the offence was “truly one which was out of character” and said Wilson does not have a history of similar offending before or since.

He said Wilson had worked as a plumber but with the downturn in the economy his work dried up so he later became a personal trainer. He handed in a large number of testimonials to the court.

Mr Dwyer submitted that it was “extremely unlikely that he (Wilson) will come before the court again on a similar matter”.

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