Four young Limerick men jailed over late-night attack at family home

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Four young Limerick men jailed over late-night attack at family home

The four defendants were sentenced at Limerick Circuit Court

FOUR young men have been jailed for their role in a violent incident at a house in the city last year.

Gary Moloney, aged 20, of South Claughan Road, Garryowen; Thomas Power, aged 25, of Abbeyvale, Corbally; Jason Foran, aged 26, of North Claughan Road, Garryowen and Eoin Bailey, aged 25, of Rossa Avenue, Mulgrave Street, had previously pleaded guilty to various charges relating to an incident which happened on March 4, 2017.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Barry Manton told Limerick Circuit Court the alarm was raised in the early hours of the morning after a number of the defendants entered a house at Sean Heuston Place while the occupants were sleeping.

After the occupants were alerted to their presence, a struggle took place in the sitting room before “matters moved to the front garden”.

Detective Garda Manton told John O’Sullivan, prosecuting,  that one of the occupants of the house was punched and kicked repeatedly and that he was struck with a plank of wood.

He also banged his head when he was “rugby tackled” to the ground by Mr Moloney during the incident which lasted for several minutes before the arrival of gardai.

The man’s partner was assaulted and damage was caused to windows at the house and to a car which was parked outside.

Neither of them sustained serious injuries during the incident and neither gave a victim impact statement.

A medical report was not prepared for the court and the cost repairing the damage caused to the house and car was not stated.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told there was a number of children in the house at the time and the assault was described by Mr O’Sullivan as “completely unprovoked and very violent”.

While none of the defendants made admissions, Detective Garda Manton said there was a “strong circumstantial case” which included CCTV which placed all four men in the area around the time of the incident.

Imposing sentence, Judge O’Donnell said what happened was very frightening for the occupants of the house who had “effectively been set upon by mob”.

He noted that each of the defendants has been “under the influence of some intoxicant” at the time.

The judge said the four guilty pleas were welcome and were a significant mitigating factor which he had to consider.

While noting the youth of the accused men and their immaturity at the time, he said what happened was outrageous and that the court had to “send a clear message” that such behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated.

He said those who engage in such activity must be prepared to the bear the consequences of their actions.

Each of the defendants received sentences totalling two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

In the case of Moloney and Bailey, the sentences were back-dated to reflect the time they have already served in custody.