Wednesday 21 August 2019

Young man charged with seriously assaulting 'one punch' victim Luke (20) had drunk '10 double shots' - court hears

Luke O'Reilly (20) from Kiltipper died from injuries he suffered in a 'one punch' attack
Luke O'Reilly (20) from Kiltipper died from injuries he suffered in a 'one punch' attack
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

AN apprentice carpenter has been charged with seriously assaulting a student who died from injuries he suffered in a “one punch” attack on Halloween night.

Jack Hall Ellis (20) appeared in Dublin District Court today after he was arrested by gardai investigating the death of Luke O’Brien O’Reilly.

Jack Hall Ellis, Old Court Mill, Tallaght charged with assault pictured leaving the Dublin District Courts at The CCJ today. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Jack Hall Ellis, Old Court Mill, Tallaght charged with assault pictured leaving the Dublin District Courts at The CCJ today. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

During a bail hearing the court was told Mr O’Reilly was struck once in the side of the head as he walked home with friends from Halloween celebrations, “didn’t know what was coming” and fell to the ground where he hit his head.

He died in hospital from his injuries this week.

Mr Hall Ellis had drunk 20 measures of Captain Morgan’s rum on the night before he allegedly assaulted Mr O'Reilly, the court was told.

Judge Anthony Halpin granted him bail after hearing gardai expected to bring a further more serious charge.

Mr Hall Ellis of Old Court Mill, Tallaght, is charged with assault causing harm to Mr O’Reilly (20) at Old Blessington Road, also in Tallaght in the early hours of November 1.

Garda David Morris said he arrested the defendant for the purpose of charge at Tallaght Garda Station at 5.45pm yesterday.

Mr Hall Ellis made no reply to the charge after caution at 6.04pm, he said. He was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Garda Morris said he was objecting to bail, citing the nature, degree and seriousness of the charge, which carries a potential five year prison term on conviction.

Outlining the allegations, he said a serious assault occurred at 2.45am on November 1. Mr O’Reilly, from Kiltipper, had just left the Metro pub in Tallaght after he had been out socialising with friends on Halloween night.

They were walking down the road when a man approached Mr O’Reilly from behind and proceeded to punch him into the side of the head, and he “didn’t know what was coming.”

This caused him to fall onto the concrete footpath where he hit his head on the ground, Garda Morris continued.

Mr O’Reilly was attended to by his friends straight away and the culprit left the scene. Mr O’Reilly’s friends called an ambulance and he was taken to Tallaght Hospital.

It was decided that his injuries were more severe than first thought and he was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he was treated in the Intensive Care Unit before passing away as a result of his injuries on November 13, Garda Morris said.

The garda arrested the accused as a suspect in the case and he was detained and interviewed. Mr Hall Ellis “fully admitted” assaulting Mr O’Reilly on November 1, Garda Morris told Judge Halpin.

He said an extensive file was being prepared for the DPP, more medical evidence was awaited and the gardai expected a further more serious charge would be brought in the near future.

Garda Morris said it was alleged that Mr Hall Ellis was “caught red-handed,” witness statements had been taken and there was CCTV evidence.

Defence solicitor Padraig O'Donovan said the gardai had been contacted by his office and a solicitor accompanied the accused to the station.

The accused presented himself at the station “without them having to go looking for him.”

The garda agreed with Mr O’Donovan that the accused said he only went out rarely but had had “a good bit to drink that night” - 10 double shots of Captain Morgan’s.

Mr O’Donovan said what happened was “unfortunate for both families,” who were in court, and “very tragic” for Mr O’Reilly’s family.

Garda Morris agreed with him that it was “one punch.”

Judge Halpin granted bail in the defendant’s own cash bond on €1,000 subject to conditions.

These are that the defendant lives at his uncle’s address at Ratoath, Co Meath, is of sober habits, observes a nightly curfew and does not interfere with any witnesses.

Judge Halpin also granted free legal aid after the accused’s solicitor made an application and handed a statement of his financial means in to court.

“The facts in this case tragic, there is no doubt about that,” the judge said.

The defendant, wearing a grey hooded jacket and blue jeans did not address the court during the hearing and has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

Mr Hall Ellis took up his bail this afternoon and Judge Halpin adjourned his case to January 17.

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