A STUDENT who kicked and shouted obscenities at a car “due to the fact that it was an English-registered vehicle”, went on to kick its owner a number of times in the head, in what a judge has described as an “outrageous assault”.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly at Kilmallock Court said that the most appalling aspect of the case before him was the “absolute wanton nature of the assault”.
The court heard that the defendant, David Healy, aged 23 of Healy’s Bar, Main Street, Kilfinane had been drinking all day after his team had played in a county final in Limerick.
Healy pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing harm, criminal damage, and intoxication in a public place at Westend, Kilfinane on September 26, 2011.
Garda Niall McInerney of Kilmallock garda station told the court that at approximately 4.30am, the injured party was awoken from his sleep by the noise coming from the street below.
The court heard that the injured party witnessed the defendant punching and kicking his car.
Garda McInerney said that Healy shouted obscenities at the car “due to the fact that it was an English-registered vehicle”.
The court heard that the victim went out of his house to confront “an intoxicated Mr Healy” which resulted in both parties becoming engaged in a physical altercation.
Garda McInerney said that the injured party claimed that he was grabbed from behind by another man who put him into a chokehold which resulted in the injured party being unable to breath for a period of time.
The court heard that while the victim was in the chokehold Healy returned and kicked the victim into the head on a number of occasions until he was told by the other male to stop, which he did.
Garda McInerney said Healy then continued to punch the victim in the face.
The court heard that as the victim began to make his way home, the accused then ran down the road behind him and when the victim turned around he landed his fist on the victim’s nose.
Garda McInerney said that the victim stated that with this punch “he heard his nose crack”.
Outlining his injuries under oath, the injured party said his nose gets blocked and he now has to use a spray to relieve the condition. The injured party said he visited a specialist after the incident.
“I’m not the same person since the assault,” he said, on the stand.
The injured party said that prior to the incident he had never met the defendant.
The court heard that the injured party, a native of Kilmallock, came back from England to retire in Kilfinane due to a heart condition. He said he has since left the house in Kilfinane because he was “looking over his shoulder” following the assault.
The injured party said that on the night in question, from his window, he observed the defendant getting into a verbal dispute with individuals “and he took it out on the English number plate”.
He said: “Off back to your own country and starting smashing the mirror” the injured party recalled.
After confronting Healy, the injured party said he told him “there is no point talking to you, you are intoxicated”. Healy, he said, then called him a “spastic” and lunged at him. The injured party said that as he was getting slapped, he starting apologising saying: I’m sorry. I’m sorry’ to try and get them to stop”.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly told the injured party: “You have a dreadful story to tell”.
The court heard that David Healy had no previous convictions.
Garda McInerney pointed out that Healy has not come to the attention of the gardai since the incident.
He said that Healy’s family would be held in very high esteem within the local community.
Solicitor for Healy, Tom Kiely, said the he and his family are “humiliated, embarrassed and disgusted by what happened”.
Under oath, Healy said he wished to apologise to the injured party for the trouble he caused him.
Healy explained that he is in college and is in receipt of the Back to Education allowance of €75 a week.
Judge O’Kelly pointed out that he could send Healy to prison straight away for the “outrageous injuries and assault” but would prefer to see the injured party paid a “significant amount of compensation” before considering whether to do that or not.
Judge O’Kelly directed that Healy pay €50 a week as compensation with the total amount to be agreed with the injured party.
Judge O’Kelly asked Healy if he had some difficulty with an English-registered motor car to which Healy replied that he did not. He said he had been drinking all day because, he said, his side were playing in a hurling county final that day. Judge O’Kelly told Healy he was “no credit” to his team.
Judge O’Kelly said if there was any failure to pay on any week, he would seriously consider stopping the option of paying compensation and instead impose a custodial sentence.
Judge O’Kelly bound Healy to the peace on his own bond of €1,000 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of two years.
The injured party explained that he left Kilmallock for work in London and asked: “What has gone wrong in the world today when kids and young men are doing what they are doing? I think they have too much in their pockets and too much time on their hands. It’s sad the way the world is now”.
The matter was adjourned to September 6.