Monday 19 March 2018

Young man jailed for his role in a violent attack on at Swedish House Mafia gig

Jessica Magee

A YOUTH who smashed a glass bottle over a concert-goer at a Swedish House Mafia gig has been sentenced to five years in prison with the final two years suspended.

Karl Higgins (20) of Shancastle Lawns, Clondalkin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder on the July 7, 2012 in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

Garda Shane McCartan told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that he had been on undercover duty at the concert mingling with the crowd when he witnessed the unprovoked attack.

Shortly after 9pm, a scuffle broke out between eight men and four women before another concert-goer, Andrew England, tried to intervene as a peace-maker.

Mr England had come to Ireland from the Isle of Man to visit family and had tickets to see Swedish House Mafia with his girlfriend.

Gda McCartan said he saw Higgins attacking Mr England from behind by smashing a glass bottle over his head and then jabbing the jagged neck of the bottle into his elbow.

Gda McCartan said Mr England's initial reaction was to avoid confrontation and try to walk away before he was attacked “in a ferocious manner”.

A co-accused, Raymond Donnan, repeatedly stabbed Mr England in the back with a kitchen knife, before the victim was pulled to safety out from the crowd and into the disabled viewing area.

Donnan (23) of Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin has pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and will be sentenced at a later date.

Mr England was seen by paramedics and suffered injuries to the head needing stitches. His right arm was sliced from where the glass bottle had been jabbed into his elbow. He had between four and seven stab wounds to his side and another stab wound to his back.

He had been due to return home to the Isle of Man three days after the concert but couldn't due to his injuries, which required surgery.

Medical reports and a victim impact statement by Mr England stated he suffers regular sleepless nights from the anxiety caused by the attack.

He had to take several sick days, having not had one in five years prior to the attack. He has lost a stone in weight and keeps getting infections which he attributes to stress.

Gda McCartan said Higgins had been identified in mobile phone footage earlier in the evening as having been involved in another fight.

Higgins, who was wearing wellies, shorts and had no top on, was filmed punching a man four times with his fist in the back of the head before he was restrained.

Donnan was also captured on video by an off-duty garda stabbing another man shortly before he attacked Mr England.

Higgins has 30 previous convictions, including possession of drugs, criminal damage, driving offences, theft, and violent behaviour in a police station.

Gda McCartan told Brian Storan BL, defending, that Higgins was very drunk and had taken drugs the night of the concert.

Higgins wrote a letter to the court expressing his remorse and regret for the stress and anxiety caused to Mr England and his family.

Judge Martin Nolan said Mr England seemed to be a “rather chivalrous man” and had tried to separate a fight, for which he was savagely attacked by Higgins and Donnan.

He sentenced Higgins to five years in jail with the final two years suspended, on condition that he place himself under the supervision of the Probation and Welfare Services for 18 months on his release.

Judge Nolan said it was a serious crime and that he would have handed down a longer sentence but for Higgins' youth.

Online Editors

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