Suspended sentence over 'cowardly' assault in Limerick city centre

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Suspended sentence over 'cowardly' assault in Limerick city centre

Shane Mulcahy was sentenced at Limerick Circuit Court

A YOUNG man has avoided prison for his role in what has been described as a “cowardly assault on a defencless youth.

Shane Mulcahy, aged 19, of Mungret Court, Watergate has pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident at the Crescent, O’Connell Avenue on May 24, 2014.

During a sentencing hearing more than a year ago, Limerick Circuit Court was told the victim, who was aged 19 at the time, was approached by a group of youths at around 8pm shortly after he got off a bus.

One of the youths tried to snatch his mobile phone and when he resisted he was punched in the face up to a dozen times.  He sustained a broken finger and significant dental damage.

It was accepted by Garda Brian O’Loughlin an older youth was the main culprit and that Mr Mulcahy has “joined in”.

John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said there was no CCTV footage of the incident and that the only witnesses to the assault were associates of the culprits, which may have proved “problematic” in the context of a trial.

Mr Mulcahy’s co-accused, he said, was previously jailed for twelve months for his role in the incident.

Pat Whyms BL, said his client cooperated with gardai and was “very up front” when questioned.

He said he comes from a good family and was not the main perpetrator.

He described Mr Mulcahy as a “vulnerable young man” who has faced “significant and serious challenges” from a young age.

Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the contents of a probation report which indicated Mulcahy has a tendency towards violence.

He said his “lack of follow-through” with the Probation Service is a concern. He said the “lack of structure” in his life was a significant factor in is behaviour around the time of the offence.

The judge noted the defendant made admissions and pleaded guilty at an early stage.

There have been no incidents in the intervening four years and he accepted the defendant, who is now a father, has matured.

He imposed an 18 month prison sentence which he suspended in its entirety.