A GANG of up to five thugs subjected a householder to a "ferocious" beating when he confronted them for blocking the path of his elderly father's car outside his home.
The group set upon Fran Gilton when he told them to move on from outside his house after they threatened to "slit his throat" and "cut his head off" for complaining about their intimidating behaviour.
The gang rained kicks and punches on Mr Gilton as he lay on the ground in the attack outside his home in Clarehall, north Dublin.
One of the group, Ian O'Shaughnessy (20), was given a nine-month sentence for kicking Mr Gilton in the head during the incident.
The accused, of Greenwood Avenue, Donaghmede had denied a charge of assault causing harm to Mr Gilton (39) at Templeview Avenue, Clarehall on April 14, 2009.
The victim told Dublin District Court he had returned home from work selling plumbing equipment and noticed "bedlam" going on at a neighbour's house.
He had had problems in the past with a son of the family and the youth's friends, including O'Shaughnessy. Mr Gilton lived there with his 11-year-old daughter, who was "terrified" of what went on at the neighbour's house. His father came over to watch a football match on TV and for "a bit of support."
A group from the other house were passing and shouted obscenities at Mr Gilton as he looked out, calling him a "rat" and warning that they would slit his throat and cut his head off.
One of them blocked his father's car from entering the driveway and he went out and told the youth to move on or he would call the gardai. The youth punched him in the face and the other four ran over and joined in.
He said he definitely saw three of them, including the defendant, punching and kicking him as they dragged him away down the road.
"(The accused) was punching me on the left side of my head and when I was down on the ground, he was kicking me in the head", Mr Gilton told the court.
They ran away afterwards and he had to go to Beaumont hospital for treatment to cuts and gashes all over his face. He also had a black eye and was sore all over his body from the blows he received.
He said he never threw a punch and the attack was totally unprovoked. Mr Gilton was dazed and in pain and was off work for several days after the assault.
Barrister Marc Thompson Gromilund said the accused maintained he did not take part in the assault and was near a local shop when it happened.
Judge Victor Blake said the victim had suffered serious injuries.
"He just wanted to watch a soccer match with his dad and he had to be subjected to a ferocious assault," the judge said.
O'Shaughnessy had already been convicted of the attempted hijacking of a woman's car.
The judge gave him another nine months' detention.