Tuesday 22 October 2019

SF councillor who knocked out victim's teeth escapes jail sentence

Apology: Dermot Richardson outside court yesterday. Picture: Collins
Apology: Dermot Richardson outside court yesterday. Picture: Collins
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A Sinn Féin councillor who attacked his ex-wife's partner in a drunken rage, resulting in the loss of three of his teeth, avoided jail and was ordered to pay his victim €7,500.

Dermot Richardson (53), a councillor for South Dublin County Council from Tymon Hall Grove in Tallaght, had pleaded guilty to assaulting Tony Greene after a Christening party on March 11, 2017.

Garda Kevin Keane told Dublin Circuit Court that Richardson had gone to the house in Belgard Green in Tallaght that he used to share with his ex-wife Martina.

He said Richardson had consumed a lot of alcohol and had shouted at Mr Greene to "get out of the house".

There was then a dispute between Richardson and his ex-wife. Richardson headbutted and punched Mr Greene on a number of occasions. As Mr Greene was comforting his partner, Richardson punched him full force in the face, knocking out his two front teeth.

Gardaí were called to the house where they saw Mr Greene with blood all over his face and holding his two front teeth in his hand.

Richardson was arrested and brought to Tallaght garda station. During the initial investigation Richardson claimed he had acted in self-defence. Mr Greene had to undergo emergency dental surgery but his two teeth could not be re-implanted, and a third tooth had to be removed. He has since had to wear dentures.

In his victim impact statement which was read to the court, Mr Greene said he had suffered a loss of earnings, dental costs of €3,740, and the loss of three teeth which left it impossible for him to maintain a simple conversation.

Counsel for Richardson said his client apologised, had come to court with €2,000, and was prepared to pay Mr Greene €3,000 more. He said Cllr Richardson is a public representative who has done some good in the community.

Judge Martin Nolan said the assault was a serious one but he would take into account the guilty plea, his co-operation with gardaí, and the fact there was no relevant previous record.

He sentenced Richardson to two-and-a-half years suspended, and told him he was to pay Mr Greene €2,000 at once and another €5,500 within 18 months.

In a statement Richardson, who was re-elected as a councillor for Tallaght South in May, expressed his remorse.

"I want to express abject regret and to apologise sincerely to those affected by my actions.

"I accept the judgment of the court and the sentence handed down to me.

"I have let myself down and I have fallen short of the high standards expected of me by Sinn Fein and those I am privileged to represent."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News