Suspended sentences for attack on County Limerick pensioner

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

A JUDGE has commended the “Christian attitude” shown by a pensioner who was seriously injured when he was attacked by two teenagers in the village of Athea almost three years ago.

A JUDGE has commended the “Christian attitude” shown by a pensioner who was seriously injured when he was attacked by two teenagers in the village of Athea almost three years ago.

Michael Leech, 74, sustained a broken nose and several lacerations to his face when he was punched and kicked following an incident on October 31, 2008.

He also lost a number of teeth and sustained two black eyes in the assault.

Limerick Circuit Court was told the incident happened at around 10pm when Mr Leech confronted a number of youths who were letting off fireworks and bangers near the car park where he was parked.

Garda Gerard Griffin, who has been based in Athea for more than 20 years, said he has never come across anything like what happened in his career and he told the court there was an “absence of co-operation” with the subsequent garda investigation.

Garda Griffin said around 60 young people witnessed the incident but he told the court that some of them, with the support of their parents, would not co-operate.

Charlie Murphy, 22, of Hillside Drive, Athea and Mark Murphy, 21, of Lisselton, Kerry who pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Leech causing him harm each received a two-year suspended sentence.

The Probation Act was applied in the case of Nigel Brouder, 21, of Coole West, Athea who pleaded guilty to a public order offence relating to the incident.

*A full version of this story was published in the print edition of Limerick Leader, dated October 15, 2011