Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
A MAN who assaulted two brothers during separate incidents on the same night has avoided an immediate prison sentence.
Jonathan Roche, 30, of Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty, Limerick had pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and assault relating to offences which occurred during the early hours of October 10, 2016.
During a sentencing hearing last year, Garda Stephen Aherne said the first incident happened at Charlotte Quay when the defendant and another man encountered a youth at around 1.30am.
The second man “intentionally bumped into him” while Mr Roche struck him in the side of the face knocking him unconscious.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the victim then made his way home and informed his brother what had happened and that both then “went off looking” for the culprits who they located at Little Ellen Street a short time later.
While Mr Roche “threw a punch” during the ensuing scuffle it was accepted by the State that what happened was less serious than the earlier incident at Charlotte Quay.
Barrister Erin O’Hagan said her client was “utterly disgusted” by his behaviour on the night and she submitted it was “completely and utterly out of character” for him.
She said he made important admissions following his arrest and asked the court to note that Mr Roche was not the main instigator in what happened.
Imposing sentence before the summer vacation, Judge Tom O’Donnell said such incidents are “far too common” but he noted Mr Roche has not come to the attention of gardai over the past twelve months.
He accepted he has no history of violence and that what happened was out of character.
“It was not premeditated, it was opportunistic,” he commented.
The judge imposed a three year prison sentence, which he suspended in full.
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