Man gets jail for spade attack on neighbour

A man who punched his neighbour between the eyes and then chased after him while brandishing a spade has been sentenced to eight months in jail as well as being given a four-month suspended sentence for criminal damage to a house door.

Edward McDonagh (26 ) with an address at 70 Thornog, Headford Road, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy at Galway District Court on Monday charged with criminal damage and assault at Thornog on March 6, 2011, as well as making off with payment at The Menlo Park Hotel on March 13, 2011.

The court heard that on March 6 last year the defendant had an altercation with his neighbour who was then punched in the face, in full view of the injured party’s wife and children. When the man tried to get away McDonagh chased him while holding a spade in a threatening manner. McDonagh forcibly gained entry to the injured party’s house, throwing the spade at a door and causing damage. According to garda evidence there was “some history between them”. Just seven days later McDonagh entered Menlo Park Hotel, had a meal and bottle of wine totalling €42, but left the premises without paying.

In relation to previous convictions the court heard that McDonagh has 24 recorded against him including a number theft matters, making gain by deception, public order, road traffic offences, and criminal damage.

Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said that her client was not in a position to offer compensation for the damage caused and that there had been “issues” between the two men. She said that her client had co-operated fully with gardai and has had no contact with the injured party since. The court further heard that McDonagh had been on heavy medication and had been drinking on top of that.

“It’s hard to believe that someone would produce a spade,” said Judge Fahy to which the defendant replied: “It was on the spur of the moment”.

Judge Fahy then convicted McDonagh and sentenced him to eight months in jail. For the criminal damage charge Judge Fahy further imposed a four-month sentence which was suspended for 12 months on condition that he be of good behaviour.

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