A MAN who was sitting in a parked car outside his girlfriend’s home after returning from the cinema was subjected to an unprovoked “vicious beating” a court has heard.
Details of the incident were revealed during the sentencing hearing of two brothers who have pleaded guilty to assault charges.
Limerick Circuit Court was told Robert O’Donnell, aged 19, and Christopher O’Donnell, aged 21, both of Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston attacked Gerard Fogarty at Quinn Cottages, Rosbrien at around 11pm on February 22, 2104.
Detective Garda Paul Crowley said the incident happened after Robert O’Donnell approached Mr Fogarty’s car and asked for a cigarette.
He said words were exchanged and that “suddenly and without provocation” the injured party was pulled from the car and set upon.
Det Garda Crowley said he sustained a “vicious beating” and suffered a broken nose after he was punched in the face during the attack.
“He was struck with a large rock into the ribs and blows were rained on his head and body,” he added.
The court was told that another young man was also involved in the assault and that he fled in Mr Fogarty’s car along with another young man.
Neither of the O’Donnell brothers were involved in the theft of the car, which was recovered at Ballyclough Avenue a short time later.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told that Christopher O’Donnell was identified by a witness and that he made admissions following his arrest.
While his brother was not identified, he too made admissions when questioned by gardai about the incident.
Both men, Det Garda Crowley said, identified themselves in CCTV which was recovered from the area.
Michael Fitzgibbon BL, for Christopher O’Donnell, said his client has suffered a difficult upbringing and that he is at a crossroad in his life.
He said it was his first time being charged with assault and that it has been a wake up call for his client.
Mark Nicholas BL, for Robert O’Donnell, said his client had been “drinking on the street” prior to the incident and that his admissions had been “quite impressive”.
He said the case against his client was “not a knockout” and that Mr O’Donnell lives a “chaotic, haphazard and troublesome existence”.
Adjourning the case until after Easter, Judge O’Donnell commented that he regards what happened as being very serious.
“It was an appalling incident of gratuitous violence,” he said.
He requested the preparation of probation reports in relation to each of the defendants before he imposes sentence.
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