Sunday 22 September 2019

Two years in jail for assault which left man's lef broken in three places

A 24-year-old Bridgetown man whose assault left his victim with his leg broken in three places has been sentenced to four years in prison, with the final two years suspended.

Karl Conlon, of 104 Hazelwood, Bridgetown, pleaded guilty before Judge Barry Hickson at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Nigel Kennedy, causing him serious harm, at 104 Hazelwood, Bridgetown, on October 25, 2014.

Outlining details of the case to the court, Garda Oliver Daly said the defendant had entered a guilty plea. He said the victim had taken a while before the matter was reported to the gardai.

Garda Daly said that between 2 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. on October 25, 2014, the defendant and another person called to 32 Hazelwood, in Bridgetown, the home of Mr. Kennedy. There was a confrontation arising out of claims that Mr. Kennedy was speading rumours.

Mr. Kennedy was punched and taken from the house against his will to 104 Hazelwood which was where the defendant was living at the time. When they arrived at the rear gate, the defendant pushed Mr. Kennedy who fell to the ground.

Garda Daly said that whle on the ground, Mr. Kennedy was struck by a fencing post by another person. The defendant and the other person then went into the house leaving Mr. Kennedy outside. Mr. Kennedy was left there for about an hour, during which time he was in pain and became stressed. Later, said Garda Daly, an ambulance was called to the scene.

As a result of the assault, Mr. Kennedy's leg was broken in three places. Having been admitted to hospital Mr. Kennedy required immediate surgery to stabilise his femur, and was subsequently on crutches for nine months.

Garda Daly said it was not until January 30, 2015, that Mr. Kennedy called to Kilmore Quay Garda Station to report the assault, and a statement was taken. On February 1, the defendant was arrested and detained at Wexford Garda Station where he was interviewed.

The defendant, said Garda Daly, had a number of previous convictions.

In Mr Kennedy's Victim Impact Statement, read into the court by Garda Daly, he said:

'As a result of the assault I cannot relax and enjoy things. I have had one major operation with a pin inserted and there are more operations to follow. I am in constant pain, cannot run, having constant pain in my knee. I even have difficulty in trying to mow the grass while it also affects my ability to work. I also have become very anxious because of all of this and don't go out a lot,'

Garda Daly said the victim did not want to attend court as he had a fear of seeing Conlon.

The defendant, said Garda Daly, is originally from Dublin, but came down to Wexford about three and half years ago and was living in Bridgetown. He would have been involved with a group involved in drugs and crime, the Garda told the court.

Defence Counsel, Sara Phelan, said Conlon made no comment throughout the entirety of the interview. She said it would be fair to say that from Mr. Kennedy's statement the defendant's involvement in the matter was by no means the greater of the two accused, to which Garda Daly replied 'the co-accused was the main instigator'.

Ms Phelan said the dragging and physical assault were by the other person, who also hit Mr. Kennedy three punches.

Garda Daly also said that it was on the defendant's insistence that Mr. Kennedy was brought to his (Conlon's) house and the ambulance called.

The defendant, said Ms Phelan, is from Tallaght originally. He is a man whose life has been influenced by cannabis and drink. He is currently serving a sentence for aggravated burglary and is also on remand for this case. Just before he went to prison, his partner had a baby. The responsibility of parenthood has been brought to bear on him, and he is adamant that on release he will not go back to his old ways.

Describing the nature of the assault as being similar to a 'punishment beating', Judge Hickson said that while it would appear that the defendant played the lesser role he would have to impose a custodial sentence.

The Judge said that the offence was committed while Conlon was on bail and that left him with no option but to impose a consecutive sentence. He said he would impose a four-year jail sentence, with the final two years suspended, to run consecutive to the sentenced currently being served, which expires sometime in 2017.

He said the final two years were suspended for a period of five years on the defendant abstaining from alcohol and drugs on his release, and keeping the peace and being of good behaviour for a period of five years.

Wexford People

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