Wednesday 20 November 2019

Suspended sentence for man who had 20 drinks before attacking student

Declan Brennan

A UNIVERSITY student from Cork who carried out an unprovoked attack with a pint glass on another college student has received a suspended sentence.

Eamon Leahy (27) said he had 20 drinks including shots, pints and about seven cocktails before carrying out the assault.

Victim Patrick Egan, a Trinity College student, received 11 stitches spread over four wounds on his face.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said Leahy, an arts student also studying at Trinity, was described as a “Jekyll and Hyde” who was polite when sober but aggressive when drunk.

Leahy, of Boherboy Close, Mayfield, Cork pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Patrick Egan at Sweeney’s Bar, Dame Street, on March 16, 2012.

The judge suspended the sentence of two and a half years imprisonment on the condition that Leahy keep the peace for that period and that he obey any directions from the Probation Services including alcohol treatment.

Detective Garda David Niland told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that Leahy admitted glassing the victim but claimed that Mr Egan and his friends had attacked him earlier in the night.

A security man working in the pub said he saw Leahy being pushed back against a shelf of pint glasses before he grabbed a glass and smashed it into the victim’s face.

Shane Costelloe BL, defending, said there was no truth to the claim that Mr Egan and his friends had set on Leahy earlier in the night.

The court heard Leahy has five previous convictions including four public order offences.

Counsel said his client wanted to express his deep remorse and shame and had brought €4,000 to court as a token of this remorse. Mr Costelloe said his client came from a humble background and that this was the entirety of his client’s savings.

The court heard that the victim is also taking a civil case but that he would accept the money. His medical expenses were estimated to be around €900.

Mr Costelloe said his client had earned himself a place on the Trinity Access Programme, a support programme to help groups under-represented in higher education to get into university.

Judge Ring said on the night Leahy went too far in his drinking and in his actions and that the results are the scars Mr Egan sees every time he looks in the mirror.

She said both men represented the future for our society and that a custodial sentence would not serve the public.

She said there are concerns about Leahy's ability to handle alcohol and ordered that he obey any directions from the Probation Services to undergo alcohol treatment.

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