An Oughterard man who smashed a pint glass into another man’s face after an argument over a drink mix-up spiralled out of control has been sentence to three years in jail suspended for five years, and ordered to pay €5,000 in compensation.
James Greaney (24 ) of Rushveala, Oughterard, was brought before Judge Gerard Griffin at Galway Circuit Criminal Court yesterday having pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at The Front Door pub, High Street, on February 14, 2011.
Garda Pat Fahy gave evidence that when he arrived at the pub he had been met by security personnel who informed him that a man had been assaulted and that a pint glass had been smashed into his face causing serious injuries. Greaney was formally arrested a few days later and detained at Galway Garda Station where he admitted to the assault.
Describing the events that led up to the assault, Garda Fahy said that Greaney had been out socialising with friends upstairs in the pub in an enclosed area. There was athen confusion with another man over a drink. Garda Fahy explained that the injured party had unintentionally taken the wrong drink and “pushing and shoving” began. He added that Greaney, who is studying business at GMIT, had consumed a large amount of alcohol on the night in question.
The court heard that the injured party had received “deep lacerations” to the face which required plastic surgery. The 21-year-old injured party approached Judge Griffin allowing a closer inspection of the scars.
Defence barrister Geri Silke said her client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that his judgment had been flawed due to the consumption of a lot of alcohol. She added that Greaney’s friend who had been on crutches had been involved in the argument at first. He thought his friend was going to fall, intervened, and then got caught up in the argument himself. Ms Silke further explained that Greaney, who has no previous convictions, comes from a good family and that he was very apologetic about the incident. She said that Greaney had made attempts to get a loan to come up with compensation but that all he could manage to raise was €5,000.
Noting that the use of a glass would normally mean an automatic jail sentence Judge Griffin took into account the plea of guilty, saying: “This clearly seems to be a one off inexplicable incident where he lost complete sense of reality because of the alcohol consumed.” Judge Griffin also noted that Greaney co-operated with gardai, that €5,000 in compensation was handed over, that testimonials and probation services reports handed into court were positive, and that the defendant had made efforts to re-habilitate himself. The three year sentence was suspended on condition that Greaney enter into a bond to be of good behaviour and keep the peace for a period of five years