20-year-old Patrick Nevin has received two years detention for being “the villain of the piece” in what Judge Kennedy described as a merciless three-man attack which left the victim “for dead as far as they were concerned”.
Speaking at Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court Judge Kennedy said the attack on Jason Dinnegan was planned, with the defendants lying in wait for a man in broad daylight, on a public street in the town centre to perpetrate an assault which, according to the victim impact statement had “ruined” his life.
Jason Dinnegan suffered post traumatic stress disorder and depression as a result of his injuries which included three lacerations to his scalp, three, five, and seven inches long which needed stitches and stapling. He also suffered bruises and abrasions. He gave up his course and was afraid to go out.
He suffered flashbacks, nightmares, and low moods and was "living in a state of fear", with a feeling that "the culprits and their families were still after him and would kill him”.
Patrick (20 ), his brother James Nevin (27 ) both of 174 Dalton Park and brother-in-law Declan Golden of 175 Dalton Park pleaded guilty to assaulting Jason Dinnegan in the back garden of a house having chased him through Springfield Tunnel with a baseball bat.
James Nevin and Declan Golden received a one year prison sentence each and all were refused leave to appeal the severity of the sentence.
Sgt Patrick Mulvey explained how the men had been lying in wait for Mr Dinnegan as he made his way home for lunch from a FAS course on October 24 2006.
He said the men had been clearly identifiable but that Mr Dinnegan couldn’t say Patrick Nevin had struck him with the bat and didn’t know if Declan Golden had struck him at all.
Later the court heard how Patrick Nevin, who had been carrying the bat, had been subjected to a similar attack just nine days earlier.
Mullingar Circuit Court, sitting in Tullamore, heard that Mr Dinnegan, his father, and his brother had assaulted Mr Nevin leaving him with head injuries. Jason Dinnegan was found guilty of the assault and convicted but did not serve a prison sentence.
Patrick Nevin said in direct evidence that he had been bullied through primary and secondary school by Jason Dinnegan, who is two years older than him.
He said the assault on him “drove me over the edge. He was at me all my life, I couldn’t take no more”.
He admitted he should have left the assault in the hands of the Gardaí, but admitted he wanted revenge and was angry at the time. “I shouldn’t have done it,” he said.
The judge described the three men as “properly sober” and “physically robust” and commented on how Patrick Nevin seemed to be “fighting fit” after his own attack. He said Mr Nevin’s submission of provocation “does not wash”.
He said Mr Nevin had had a “cooling-off” period and it was plain that the incident was motivated by revenge, retaliation and the desire to teach a lesson.
According to the law of joint enterprise, all men are held equally responsible for the incident, regardless of the role they played.