Man sentenced over brutal attack on Limerick GP who suffered a 'terrifying experience'

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Jeffrey Morey, 27, received jail sentence for GP attack

Jeffrey Morey, 27, received jail sentence for GP attack

A MAN man has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison, with 12 months suspended, after pleading guilty to a “savage and unprovoked assault” on a well-known city centre doctor at his clinic.

Jeffrey Morey, aged 27, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to “recklessly or intentionally” causing serious harm to Dr Seamus Kilby at Barrington Street in the city on February 29, 2016.

During a sentencing hearing Garda Brian Prendiville said the incident happened at around 3.30pm after the 57-year-old GP was alerted to a male who was being “threatening and abusive” towards the practice nurse while in the waiting room of the doctor’s practice.

Dr Kilby asked him to leave the clinic and he was concerned for the safety of his patients. 

Garda Prendiville said having been pushed down the stairs, Dr Kilby was dragged out the front door before being repeatedly kicked and punched.

Morey, who had initially attended at the clinic with a patient of Dr Kilby’s, fled in the direction of the People’s Park. When gardai arrived at the scene, they found Dr Kilby in a “bloodied, bruised and extremely shocked condition”.

He was subsequently taken to University Hospital Limerick where he was detained for a number of days for observation.

At a previous sitting in December, Judge Tom O’Donnell was told Dr Kilby sustained various bruises, a deep laceration above one of his eyes and that he had to undergo surgery for a fractured jawbone which resulted in metal implants being inserted.

According to a medical report received by the court, Dr Kilby has a “slight permanent scar on his face”.

Limerick Circuit Court heard last Friday afternoon that the victim did not know the accused.

The incident was described as a “brutal attack” on a “defenceless doctor”. 

After receiving a psychology report, the court was told that Morey “had a very difficult childhood” with a “lack of any real structure while growing up”. The court was told that the accused was “in and out of foster care” and had later developed a heroin addiction.

Mark Nicholas SC, defending, told Judge Tom O’Donnell that since being in custody since June 2016, Morey “has become completely clean”.

The court heard that mitigating factors included Morey’s early guilty plea and his expression of remorse over the attack.

Judge O’Donnell said: “This was a very serious, savage and unprovoked assault,” adding that it was a “terrifying experience” for the victim, staff and patients.

He imposed a prison sentence of five and a half years, with the last 12 months suspended on the condition that the 27-year-old is on good behaviour. The sentence was also backdated to June 29, 2016.