A Portarlington man convicted of assault in which a man on a supported living programme was left needing multiple stitches to his face and neck appeared for sentencing at the recent circuit court.
Mark Mulhall, 28 Arlington Estate, Portarlington, pleaded not guilty to the offence, at Apt 1, Barrow Mews, Portarlington, on March 9/10 2011. He was convicted before a jury in April.
The injured party, Mr Philip Gannon was discovered at his home covered in blood, with slashes on his face. He suffered a chipped tooth, scars to his face and neck, and injuries to his ear, jaw and lip. He required 18 stitches to his face, 22 to his neck, four to his eye and two to his lip.
When arrested, Mulhall admitted to gardaí that he had been present during the assault. He was present with two brothers from Portarlington, James Ward and John Hennessy Ward. James Ward has pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, with sentencing adjourned to October 24. John Hennessy Ward has left the jurisdiction.
Background to the case was given by Garda Fionnuala Shanahan, led by State prosecutor, Mr Will Fennelly. The teenaged sister of the Wards had gone to Mr Gannon’s apartment, where she consumed so much alcohol she collapsed and had to be taken to hospital. Her brothers became incensed and gained entry to Mr Gannon’s apartment, where the injured party was sleep and “the worse the wear for drink”. Mr Gannon received a very serious assault, and while Mulhall did not inflict the serious injury he was present.
Mr Gannon, who is under the supervision of supported living, gave evidence, but was in a very confused state and was unable to identify the men. Another witness was able to give a coherent account of what happened.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Gannon said he has been left feeling paranoid and is in fear of meeting his attackers again.
Defence said that Mulhall suffers with severe epilepsy and previously attended St Francis’ School. On the night of the assault, he was asked to go along by the Wards. Mulhall later made a complaint of being assaulted by John Hennessy Ward and was left hospitalised.
Judge Tony Hunt said: “It’s a reasonable deduction to make that Mr Gannon’s fear and paranoia relates to the more serious of the parties involved.”
The matter was put back to March 6, 2014, for a probation report.