Monday 21 January 2019

No defendant or €3k compo for victim in court

Defendant who attacked visitor was 'under the weather'

Paul Deering

A man who was given a week to come up with €3,000 for a visitor to Sligo he assaulted in the street didn't appear at the District Court last Thursday.

The compensation wasn't in court either and Judge Kevin Kilrane issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Michael Sweeney (41) of 38 Old Bundoran Road, Sligo.

His solicitor, Mr Mark Mullaney told the court that Sweeney had telephoned his office to say that he would he late for court but he had failed to show.

"My secretary did say that he did seem under the weather," he said.

At the previous sitting of the court, Sweeney pleaded guilty to assaulting a man from Dublin who was visiting Sligo with others on a football trip.

He was assaulted in an unprovoked attack as he chatted to an elderly man sitting on bench outside a bookies on September 10th 2016.

The court heard he had a number of previous convictions including one for assault in 2013.

Declan O'Brien had told he had court he had just come out of a bookies at Rockwood Parade and saw an elderly man on bench crying. The man was holding a can of alcohol and Mr O'Brien said he chatted to him for a minute. He had come to Sligo with others on a football team and had come into town for drinks afterwards.

After the brief chat with the elderly man he walked over towards the Snug before returning a couple of minutes later to talk once more to the man whose first name was the same as his brother who had passed away three years earlier.

As he was talking to the man, a man approached him and slapped him on the head and ear.

"I told him don't do that and then he shouted at me that he had been looking after the man for years," said Mr O'Brien.

He then looked down and saw blood on his hand. He couldn't believe he had been struck. He next recalled waking up while on the ground.

He was brought to hospital where he had three staple stitches inserted in a head wound having hit his head off the ground on his way down after being struck a second time. He was left with a scar on the inside of his mouth, a wound on which glue was used. He was discharged from hospital that evening. He still suffered a little bit of stress over the incident and won't approach anyone in the street anymore.

Mr Mullaney stated the defendant had no recollection of what occurred having drank four bottles of vodka with his brother-in-law. He remembered waking up in a cell but not even leaving the house.

Judge Kilrane said it was a gratuitous assault. If the defendant came up with €3,000 he would consider a further plea.

If not, he faced six months in jail.

Sligo Champion