A 40-year-old man who slapped a 14-year-old boy across the face after pushing his way into the kitchen of his home was ordered to pay €1,000 into a trust fund for the boy and his younger brother. Noel Killoran, Ballybeg, Kincon, Ballina received the benefit of Section 11A of the Probation Act on condition that he pay the money into a trust fund and also that he stay away from the home of the injured party.
The court heard how the mother of the young boy answered a knock at the front door of their home on September 30 last at around 9pm. The defendant was at the door and he was extremely intoxicated and he refused to leave. The woman’s husband came to the door and also asked the defendant to leave but he refused to do so. He pushed his way into the kitchen of the house and in the struggle that ensued he slapped the 14-year-old boy across the face. A neighbour, who witnessed what was going on, came to the house and helped eject the defendant. Judge Mary Devins was told that an 11-year-old boy witnessed what had happened and was traumatised by the events.
Defending solicitor, Mr Aidan Crowley, said his client was a 40-year-old single man who lived on his own in a relatively rural part of the county. His parents were deceased and he had only infrequent contact with his sister. He said he suffered from depression and as a consequence he drank heavily. On the night in question he had been drinking brandy as well as taking drugs to deal with his depression.
He said the defendant was extremely remorseful about the incident and in particular about slapping the young boy, with whom he had always been friendly. Mr Crowley said the irony of what had happened was that his client and the injured party had been good friends for many years and had helped each other as neighbours. Mr Crowley said he believed that his client’s primary problem was loneliness. “He seeks to deal with his loneliness by excessive drinking. He can’t offer any reason whatsoever for his behaviour on the night other than, to use his own words, he was ‘rotten drunk’.”
The father of the boy told Judge Devins that he had been friends with the defendant but that he wanted him to stay away from his family any more. “It wasn’t an isolated incident and I don’t want this happening any more. We were friendly but it’s the drink with him and I agree he did go through a lot,” he said.
Judge Devins said that due to the magnanimous way the injured party had approached the case she would apply the Probation Act but only on condition that the defendant stay away from the family and that he pay €1,000 into a trust fund for the two boys. He was also ordered to pay €50 in witness expenses.