Woman attacked at random was pulled from car in County Limerick town

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Detective Garda Jerry O’Sullivan told Limerick Circuit Court, the woman was driving to work shortly after 5am when she was flagged down by a youth

Detective Garda Jerry O’Sullivan told Limerick Circuit Court, the woman was driving to work shortly after 5am when she was flagged down by a youth

A WOMAN who was randomly pulled from her car and repeatedly punched has questioned how the culprit has been allowed to walk the streets of Abbeyfeale “happy and laughing with friends” since the incident. 

Sanjay O’Brien, aged 21, who has an address at Radharc na Feile, Abbeyfeale has pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman at Convent Street in the town on April 3, 2015.

Detective Garda Jerry O’Sullivan told Limerick Circuit Court, the woman was driving to work shortly after 5am when she was flagged down by a youth who was standing in middle of the road.

The defendant, who was with another youth, kicked her car and after opening the door he repeatedly punched her in the face with his fists.

He stopped when another car approached but gestured to the woman to stay quiet as he fled.

While she did not require treatment in hospital, the woman sustained facial bruising and was prescribed anti inflammatories and painkillers by her GP and could not work for a week.

In a victim impact, she said she is trying to be a person and not a victim but gets scared every time she enounters the defendant.

“I have since seen the defendant many times in Abbeyfeale and each time it effects me and I wonder how could he be walking the streets happy and laughing with his friends after attacking me in such a vicious way,” she said.

Detective Garda O’Sullivan told Lily Buckley BL, instructed by state solicitor Aidan Judge, the defendant was apprehended shortly after the incident after the victim spotted him in a house in the town.

He said Mr O’Brien’s knuckles were covered in blood and that he made some admissions in relation to what happened.

Being questioned by gardai, the defendant said he had been drinking through the night and did not fully remember the incident.

Brian McInerney BL submitted his client was apprehended following a “drive by identification in darkness” which could have been problematic at any trial.

He said his Mr O’Brien, who has a young child, did not know the woman prior to the incident and that he accepts what happened was a “disgraceful episode” which cannot be explained.

Adjourning the matter to July, Judge Tom O’Donnell said what happened was “absolutely shocking” and that people should be entitled to go about their lawful business with being attacked at random.

He said he would need time to consider the contents of the victim impact before imposing sentence.