Monday 22 July 2019

Brain injury man now with 62 convictions branded 'a menace'

A 46 year old North Cork man has been jailed for a total of three and a half years after he was convicted following two separate trials of physically assaulting one woman and sexually assaulting a teenage girl, and harassing herself and her three friends.

Anthony Quigley appeared first before Judge Gerard O'Brien at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday morning when he was sentenced to four years with two years suspended for assault causing harm to Amanda Donegan on February 5, 2018.

Quigley was later brought back before Judge Brian O'Callaghan on Wednesday afternoon when he was sentenced to three years in jail with 18 months suspended for the sexual assault on the teenager on December 4, 2018. Quigley was also given four 18 months sentences by Judge O'Callaghan for the harassment offences which are to run to concurrent with the three year term with 18 months suspended, imposed on the sexual assault charge.

Judge O'Callaghan then made all his sentences consecutive to Judge O'Brien's sentence after hearing that Quigley was on bail on the assault charge in relation to Ms Donegan when he committed the offences against the teenagers.

Quigley, from Roches Height in Mitchelstown, was left facing into jail time totalling three and a half years - two years of it from Judge O'Brien's sentence to be followed by 18 months from Judge O'Callaghan's sentence.

Det Garda Denise Fitzgerald, Mitchelstown told the court that Ms Donegan was sitting in her car parked on Cork Street in Mitchelstown at around 2.30pm on the day in question when Quigley walked by with his dog and became abusive shouting at her. Her car windows were open and Quigley reached in and struck her before dragging her from the vehicle and assaulting her on the footpath before a number of passersby intervened and detained him until a garda arrived and arrested him.

Quigley had threatened to kill Ms Donegan in the assault where she suffered cuts and bruising and he had never apologized to her or expressed any remorse for the assault, which he claimed Ms Donegan had provoked.

Det Garda Fitzgerald said the second incident happened when Quigley sat next to the four friends aged 15 and 16 as they were travelling on a bus from Cork to Mitchelstown and he started talking to them in an inappropriate manner. One of Quigley's victims told how they were sitting on four of the five back seats in the bus when Quigley, who had already got on and off the bus, waited until all other seats were full and came and sat down beside them.

"He was telling racist jokes ... he asked us our names ... he shook our hands. I immediately locked in to stranger danger," said the girl. "He started rubbing my back and patting my shoulder. I was terrified. He patted my left thigh a few times - my upper thigh. He was pushing close to me and breathing on me. He was invading my privacy. I was terrified."

Det Garda Fitzgerald told the first hearing that Quigley had a total of 56 previous convictions, including one for sexual assault on a 13 year old girl as well five for assaut, of which four were on females. He also had nine previous convictions for harassment, 12 for indecent calls or texts and three previous convictions for hoax calls while the remaining 25 convictions were for public order or road traffic matters.

Defence barrister Niamh Ó Donnabháin said that her client had been seriously injured in a road traffic collision in 2000 which left him in a coma for 27 days and he had suffered an acquired brain injury as a result. She submitted a psychiatric report from Dr Frank Kelly who said that it appeared Quigley had suffered a profound personality change after his accident which caused significant cognitive impairment and left him at risk of impulsivity.

Judge O'Brien said it was regrettable there was not more support available to those with mental health issues but Quigley was a menace.