A YOUNG man who was viciously attacked in the car park of a GAA club had to undergo major surgery and has sustained permanent scarring as a result.
Neil Foley, aged 24, of Saint Laurence Park, Garryowen has pleaded guilty to assaulting David Crowe (20) causing him harm at Claughaun GAA club Road in the early hours of December 17, 2011.
Detective Garda Fergal Hanrahan told Limerick Circuit Court the incident happened following a “verbal altercation” between the two men in the smoking area of the clubhouse, where a quiz night had taken place earlier.
He said both men had drink taken and that Foley - an unemployed mechanic - punched Mr Crowe in the face at which point Mr Crowe “claimed him”.
Judge Carroll Moran was told both men then left the smoking area and went to the car park to fight where Foley punched David Crowe in the face more than a dozen times.
The victim, who was aged 19 at the time, sustained multiple fractures to his jaw and was knocked unconscious.
“He woke up in hospital,” said Det Garda Hanrahan who told the court that Mr Crowe has undergone a number of significant surgeries since during which metal bolts and plates were inserted into his jaw.
Det Garda Hanrahan told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that Mr Crowe was in “excruciating pain” for a number of weeks after the incident and that he was prescribed morphine by doctors to ease the pain.
Judge Carroll Moran was told the assault was caught on CCTV and that it was witnessed by a number of other people who were in the company of the two men on the night
Foley made admissions to gardai and the court heard he is anxious to pay compensation to Mr Crowe.
Alicia Hayes BL, said the incident was “out of character” for her client who is genuinely remorseful.
While he has previous convictions for road traffic offences, she said he has no convictions for any violent crimes and Det Garda Hanrahan agreed that he has not come to his attention in relation to any other matter.
Judge Moran said the “slagging” that had gone between both men prior to the assault “doesn’t justify what happened” and he described the offence as a “very vicious attack”.
He said the appropriate sentence was three years imprisonment but added that he was willing to give the defendant time to raise compensation.
The judge noted that €500 has already been raised by Foley but he said the figure he has in mind is “many multiples” of that.
Adjourning the case until July 1, next, he told Foley to go out and get a job in order to raise additional compensation.