A Ballinrobe man who carried out an unprovoked assault on a man who was visiting the town to take part in an angling competition pleaded guilty to assault causing harm in Castlebar District Court this Tuesday. Sean O’Connor, 8 Tower View, Ballinrobe was arrested at 4.35am on the night of August 5 2012 on Main Street, Ballinrobe following the assault. Superintendent Joe Doherty told the court that O’Connor came out of an alley way and launched an attack on one of two men who were walking down the street together.
When Garda Aidan Connaughton arrived on the scene, he found the injured party being treated for his injuries by his companion and O’Connor was still at the scene in a highly intoxicated state. According to a portion of the statement of the injured party read out by Supt Doherty, the injured man saw O’Connor coming towards him and O’Connor “asked him what he was looking at” before he hit him, and the injured party didn’t really remember much more after that. Supt Doherty also praised the community CCTV system in Ballinrobe which caught the whole incident and showed O’Connor punching and kicking the injured party a number of times.
Solicitor for O’Connor Ms Cathy McDarby told the court that her client was a 26-year-old unemployed man who had a tough upbringing and left school without even completing his Junior Cert exams. She said that on the night in question her client cannot recall the incident and the first he remembers is being told about it when he woke up in the Garda station the next day. She also told the court that her client was so out of it that he actually waited around at the scene of the assault rather than running away. Supt Doherty told the court that O’Connor’s statement did say that the first he knew about what he had done was when he was shown the CCTV footage of it.
Judge Mary Devins told the court that it was outrageous that two people who were in a lovely town like Ballinrobe had to deal with this assault. She went on to say that she thought a four figure sum of compensation should at least be made available for the injured party in the future. She adjourned the case until May 21 for a probation report to be carried out on O’Connor.