A young teen who assaulted a man with a glass bottle in an unprovoked attack last year has been warned that if he steps one foot out of line while out on bail the judge will be waiting for him.
Judge Raymond Groarke gave the stern warning after proclaiming that he will not tolerate visitors to Galway city being picked on by out of control youths. The comments were made at Galway Circuit Court last Tuesday where an appeal was heard regarding an eight months detention which was imposed on Jamie Cronin.
The 19-year-old appellant, with an address at 13 Cnoc Na Coille, Ballybane, was convicted and sentenced in the District Court in September last for the serious and gratuitous assault of a man with a bottle at the Spanish Arch on July 28, 2008.
The court heard that Cronin struck his victim over the head with a bottle on two occasions. Cronin was arrested and brought to Galway Garda station where he admitted that he “did bottle someone”. In his statement, which was read out by state solicitor Willie Kennedy, Cronin said that he had asked the injured party for a cigarette but when he was told to go away he got angry. “I can do anything when I’m drunk,” admitted Cronin.
In his statement the injured party, Shane Conlan from Mayo, said that he had come to Galway for the night with his girlfriend. Mr Conlon said that he could hear jeering and glass breaking. A youth then approached, stretched out his hand and hit Mr Conlon with a bottle causing blood to start streaming from his head. Mr Conlon said that his group of friends tried to move quickly from the area while under constant attack from bottles. He said that the same youth approached again and struck him with a bottle a second time. Mr Conlon, who received stitches to his head, added that it was a “totally unprovoked attack” which had greatly affected him.
The court then heard that Cronin has previous convictions for unlawful taking of a vehicle, assault, public order, and possession of a knife.
Defence barrister Brendan Browne said that his client has problems with alcohol and anger management. Mr Browne had earlier mentioned that Cronin had pleaded guilty to a separate matter, an assault causing harm offence, in July 2009 and that sentencing had been adjourned to July 2010. He urged Judge Groarke to put back both matters and consider sentencing on the same adjournment date.
“This [the bottle attack] should warrant jail,” said Judge Groarke. However he added that he would remand Cronin on his own bail of €100.
“I am releasing you to see if you fully co-operate with the probation services. I’m just waiting for you,” he warned.