County Limerick man assaulted victim with claw hammer after ‘losing his head’

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Circuit Court heard gardai called to the house at Bawnmore Road after being alerted to a commotion

Limerick Circuit Court heard gardai called to the house at Bawnmore Road after being alerted to a commotion

A COUNTY Limerick man who repeatedly struck another man with a claw hammer told gardai he did so after “losing his head’ during a row.

Darren Kavanagh, aged 50, who is originally from Rathjordan, Herberstown admitted assaulting the victim at a house at Kennedy Park, Limerick at around 9.45pm on April 4, 2016.

Detective Garda Paul Reidy told Limerick Circuit Court a colleague – Garda Donal Walsh – called to the house at Bawnmore Road after being alerted to a commotion and shouting and roaring while on routine patrol.

On arrival, he encountered the defendant at the front door.

Mr Kavanagh, he said, was brandishing a blood-soaked clawhammer which he immediately dropped.

After entering the house, Garda Walsh observed the injured man sitting on a couch and bleeding heavily from his head.

After being cautioned at the scene, the defendant made admissions and put forward an explanation to gardai which was untrue and which cannot be reported for legal reasons.

Detective Garda Crowley agreed with John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, who said any trial would have been difficult as there was limited cooperation from witnesses as well as the injured party who told gardai he did not know who had assaulted him.

During interview, the defendant told gardai the victim has been “acting the ghoul all day” and that he was annoying him.

Barrister Pat Whyms, representing Mr Kavanagh, said his client did not bring the hammer to the house and that he could not  be interviewed following his arrest such was his level of intoxication. “He was in a very bad state at the time. He lost his head and he was off his head,” he said.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant, who has 26 previous convictions, is currently living in a hostel in the city and is free from illicit drugs.

“He has not been in difficulty for some time,” said Mr Whyms who submitted there was a “significant danger of regression” were his client to return to prison.

Adjourning the matter to February to facilitate the preparation of a probation report, Judge O’Donnell said he was concerned about the ferocity of the assault but was keeping all his options open.