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Stomp attack victim's fury as thugs walk free

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Ryan Richardson leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Ryan Richardson leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Aaron Lambe leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Aaron Lambe leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

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Ryan Richardson leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A man who was dragged to the ground outside a city nightclub and had his head stomped on until he was unconscious has criticised the sentence his attackers received which saw them walk from the courtroom.

Philip O'Hanlon (27) was treated for a clot on his brain and is still on anti-seizure medication following the attack by Aaron Lambe and Ryan Richardson on Eustace Street in June 2012.

He spent 20 days in three different hospitals, including Beaumont, and told the Herald that he was out of work for a year after the attack.

Lambe (22) of Swords Road in Whitehall, and Richardson (21) of Buttercup Park in Darndale, left court smiling and gesticulating to waiting photographers after avoiding a prison sentence.

They had pleaded guilty to assaulting Philip and causing him harm after an earlier altercation on the dancefloor of the Mezz Bar in Temple Bar.

One witness told gardai she saw Philip's eyes roll in his head as he was repeatedly kicked and stomped on.

Another said Lambe was the ringleader and it started because of tension on the dance floor.

A witness identified both Richardson and Lambe and described the men as kicking the victim in the face and delivering "stomps" to his head.

Lambe had no previous convictions, while Richardson had six for public order offences.

Philip said he was not happy with the suspended sentences the pair were handed down on condition they pay him €3,500 each in compensation.

"The pictures of them leaving the court are a kick in the teeth. They are giving the fingers to me and the fingers to the court," Philip told the Herald.

"They told the court they were remorseful. One of them said he was glad I was okay," he said.

"But then they come out smiling and with fingers in the air. Why would they do that if they were remorseful?" he asked.

Philip said his real anger was with the court for not giving them custodial sentences.

"There was CCTV, there were witnesses, I had speech and memory problems as well as seizures," he said.

"Did I have to be killed before they would get put away?"

"After I got out of hospital I couldn't work or go out. I was basically house-bound for a year with the dole paying my rent," he explained.

"I'd say I left the house two or three times, that's how sick I was. It took a year out of my life and I'm still on medication," he said. "I lost more than €30,000 in wages and I expected that there would be some justice at the end of it."

cocaine

"The gardai expected them to get prison as well," Philip added.

Richardson told gardai he had spent around €100 on drink that night and had taken a small amount of cocaine.

Lambe said he was drunk and had a vague memory of the fight. Both men told gardai they didn't kick the victim in the head.

The District Court judge had refused jurisdiction for the case.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said the head injuries occurred when Mr O'Hanlon was no longer a threat to anyone.

She noted that the attack has "altered the course of the victim's life" but accepted that it was not pre-meditated.

Judge Ring sentenced them to a two-and-half-year sentence, suspended in full on the condition both pay €3,500 to the victim.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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