Mountrath man lucky not to be jailed for assault

A Mountrath man who punched another man in a fast food outlet causing injuries to the man’s face and hand has been told by Judge Catherine Staines he is lucky not to be going to prison.

A Mountrath man who punched another man in a fast food outlet causing injuries to the man’s face and hand has been told by Judge Catherine Staines he is lucky not to be going to prison.

Before last week’s District Court in Portlaoise was Mark Brophy, with an address listed at Drim, Mountrath. He was charged with assault causing harm at Main Street, Mountrath, on November 20, 2011.

Garda Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that an altercation took place on the night between a number of men. The injured party was assaulted and Brophy later admitted his responsibility to gardaí.

The court heard that Brophy punched the other man, causing an injury to his finger and nose.

Brophy was previously convicted of the offence at an earlier sitting of the district court, where he handed in €500 compensation. He was ordered to engage with the probation service.

At last week’s court, defence for Brophy, Mr Philip Meagher said that his client had cooperated fully with the court order. Mr Meagher explained that there had been a number of co-accused with Brophy at the previous court sitting, and Judge Staines had struck out the other cases due to inconsistencies in evidence.

Mr Meagher claimed that there had been inconsistencies between the injured party’s statement and the evidence given by the injured party’s partner.

Mr Meagher went on to say that in relation to the assault, it had been perceived on the night that a comment was made which led to the altercation. He said that Brophy was prepared to pay another €500 compensation.

Mr Meagher said that Brophy is a skilled welder and fitter who does State work at such locations as airports and prisons, and as such a sentence would affect his work.

After reading the injured party’s statement, Judge Staines said Brophy was lucky not to be going to jail.

“He went into a chippers after the altercation and punched (the injured party), he could have just gone home,” she remarked.

Judge Staines told Brophy to pay the additional €500. She also ordered him to complete 150 hours’ voluntary work in the community and produce a certificate of proof. The matter was put back to October 10.