Two men faced charges of violent disorder at a Castlebar District Court sitting this week, after a Tesco security officer claimed he was violently set upon, after he intervened to break up a fracas outside the store in Castlebar.
Mr PJ Scahill told the court that on June 7 2008 after 3am, he intervened to break up a disturbance outside the store, where a number of men and women were gathered. According to Mr Scahill, Keith Ring, 50 Castlegrove, Castlebar, attacked him on two occasions with a mobile phone charger — one to the top left of his eye and the other to his head. The incident arose after Mr Scahill saw a man being threatened and tried to calm things down by bringing him into the store. The security guard said that he was hit by a youth in the group and hit back in self defence, before Ring got involved — resulting in the two on them landing on the ground, where Mr Scahill said that he was surrounded, “kicked and battered” in an “extremely violent” manner with “blows” coming at him from “every angle”. Mr Scahill identified Shannon Keoghane, 18 Hollow Grove, Castlebar, as being one of the assailants.
Mr Scahill said that he was hit with a phone charger by Ring when he was on the ground and again when he tried to enter the store — at this stage Mr Scahill said that he was bleeding heavily from his left eye. When inside, the security guard tried to close the store shutters and called for backup from the night staff. While this was occurring, Mr Scahill claimed that Keoghane attacked a man (who was unrelated to the incident ) as he tried to enter the store.
Defending solicitor for the defendants, Aidan Crowley, asked Mr Scahill if he remembers lashing out with his legs at the group “like a kung fu fighter”? The witness said that he did, but it was in self defence.
CCTV footage of the incident was viewed by Judge Mary Devins.
A statement made by witness Ms Kim Moran on July 18, which was read out in court, said that the fight broke out outside the store after one man in the group called her friend a different name, which was taken up wrongly by a young male who started a fight with this man. Ms Moran said that the security garda got involved, then “Keith went mad”, shouting abuse. Ms Moran said that Ring had a mobile charger and that Keoghane hit a man in his face.
Garda Michelle Conroy said that Ring was arrested on August 4 where he admitted hitting the security man, after Mr Scahill hit a youth in the group. Keoghane, who was detained for another incident on June 16, denied hitting Mr Scahill but said that he hit two others.
In a memo of interview with Ring, the defendant said that after drinking a few pints in town he went to the lake where he had four Valium and more alcohol. Ring said that “I lost my head” after the security man slapped another member of the party in the face, and claimed that Scahill “threw kicks to the side of my head” and only boxed Mr Scahill in the eye, but had no phone charger, and did not know if he tried to hit Mr Scahill again.
Keoghane told the court that he entered the store to get food and on the way out of the store he hit a man, who he claimed was Polish — who had hit him earlier that night by the lake —but said that he never hit Mr Scahill.
Judge Mary Devins adjourned the matter to May 20 in order to consider the law surrounding the Section 15 charge.
Nine months jail for assault, public order, and intent to supply drugs
Keoghane (19 ), was also sentenced to a total of nine months jail by Judge Devins for other matters which were in for sentencing at Wednesday’s court sitting.
Before sentencing Judge Devins said to Keoghane that “you think that you are too cool for school but you’re pathetic” and that “I think you are a thug”.
For two section three assaults on men outside the Traveller’s Friend on January 26 2008, the defendant was convicted and fined a total of €500 and sentenced to three months in prison.
For possession of 54 ectasty tablets on March 17 2008, with the intent to supply, Keoghane was sentenced to three months in prison consecutive and for a section eight public order offence (failure to comply ) on September 6 2008, Main Street, Castlebar, the defendant was sentenced to three months in prison consecutive and convicted and fined €250.
Recognisnaces were fixed.