Tuesday 23 July 2019

Thug gets four years for assault that left student blind in one eye

Aoife Nic Ardghaill

A YOUNG father was yesterday handed a four-and-a-half-year sentence for viciously assaulting an African student, leaving him disfigured and blind in one eye.

Stephen Mooney (23) will have to serve this sentence after another four-and-a-half-year sentence for attempted rape committed while he was on bail for the assault.

He was one of a group of youths who beat Mapfumo Cuidzambwa (29) with various implements, including a golf club, breaking the unarmed victim's facial bones and sinking his right eye into its socket.

Judge Patricia Ryan said she would not forget Mr Cuidzambwa's victim impact report nor the "quiet dignity" with which he delivered it to the court.

She said it was an "unwarranted and unprovoked attack on a defenceless man" and considered a consecutive sentence appropriate given Mooney's "propensity to violence".

Mooney, of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, had been asked to leave a party in a neighbouring home of Zimbabwean nationals. He damaged two cars on his way out and then attacked some of the party-goers who had followed to confront him.

Judge Ryan imposed a further one-year sentence for criminal damage, consecutive to the assault sentence, but suspended this on condition Mooney placed himself under post-release supervision and underwent alcohol and drug treatment.

Detective Garda Paul Kelly told the court that he found the victim with blood pumping from his face in what he described as one of the "hardest" cases he had ever had to deal with. He said a few witnesses who had fled the scene before the attack heard one of the assailants ask: "Do you want to see me crack a n****r's skull?"

Mooney, a father of two, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Cuidzambwa causing him harm and criminal damage of two cars at Greenfort Lawns in the early hours of October 1, 2006. He has 22 previous convictions including attempted rape.


Mr Cuidzambwa told the court that though doctors had informed him they could do nothing for him, he still hoped that he would regain sight in his eye one day. He said: "I am left to hope hopelessly, but then if I do not hope what will I do?"

Mr Cuidzambwa described how he had come to Ireland from Zimbabwe in 2001 to study electronic engineering at UCD and had begun a PhD scholarship in wireless communications when he was attacked.

He said he had to take a year out from college but when he returned he was told there was no funding so he had to "scale down" his studies and complete a masters degree instead.

Irish Independent

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