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Victim of assault hit 20 times

An 'out of control' man who struck his victim up to 20 times, was sentenced to three years in jail when he appeared before the circuit criminal court in Dundalk.

Ryan Duffy (26), 12 Rathmore Cottages, Kilkerley, Dundalk had the final six months suspended when he pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Ashling Park on 5 January, 2013.

Judge Michael O'Shea heard the accused had been binge-drinking for a month prior to the incident, which left the injured man with a broken nose and a cheekbone fractured in three places.

Gda Colm McCaughey gave evidence that on the night in question, Darren Tumelty was outside his house at 497 Ashling Park having a cigarette.

Two men walked up, and came over to him. He knew the accused by his nickname 'Skid', and they all went into the kitchen of the house.

Mr Tumelty then wanted both men to leave, but Duffy was adamant he was not going anywhere.

When the victim turned his back to open the kitchen door, Duffy struck him over the left ear.

Gda McCaughey continued that Darren Tumelty was struck up to twenty times on the left and right sides of his face.

He managed to push the defendant towards a wall, before Duffy broke loose and took a knife from a drawer, but his companion took it off him.

The victim escaped up the stairs, and used an attic pole to lock himself into a room. Duffy followed him, before giving up and leaving the house.

Mr Tumelty's girlfriend was getting ready for bed when she heard the commotion and saw Ryan Duffy coming upstairs after Darren. She contacted the guards.

Gda McCaughey said when he arrived, he noticed a female gesturing from an upstairs window. He then saw Ryan Duffy, whom he knew, coming down the stairs.

The defendant was brought to the garda station, but was not fit to be interviewed there and then.

The court heard Duffy had a two-year-old daughter whom he saw twice a week. He had 23 previous convictions, fifteen of which were for public order offences.

Counsel for the accused added her client's parents had split up when he was aged five. He had lived in Leeds and Belfast, and was expelled from school at 15, but was successful in returning and doing his junior cert.

His older brother died in 2004 from a drugs overdose, and an uncle was murdered in 1995. Duffy moved in with his grandparents when aged 16.

He started drinking and smoking cannabis in his early teens, but had abstained from alcohol since the new year.

Judge O'Shea described Ryan Duffy as a man out of control on this occasion. There would have been no talking to him.

What happened to a person believed to be safe in their own home was absolutely frightening.

Mr Tumelty was 'ambushed from behind', and following the assault had to have corrective surgery on his nose.

The judge continued this was an unprovoked, violent and brutal attack.

He noted Duffy had been in no trouble since, and had taken rehabilitation steps.

A sentence was handed down as outlined.