A KILDARE rugby player convicted of kicking another player in the face when he was just 16, leaving the injured party requiring dental work costing €45,000, had his case finalised at last week’s District Court in Portlaoise.
19-year-old Karl Jebb, of Covert Lane, Kilteel, Naas, Co Kildare, was convicted of assault at the Portlaoise Rugby Club, Togher, Portlaoise, on October 31, 2009. At a previous court sitting he was ordered to pay compensation of €50 a week to the injured party, a young man who turns 19 next June.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen last week told Judge Catherine Staines that €3,430 has been paid to date.
Mr Breen acknowledged that on the last occasion before the court, his client had failed to appear as he was starting a new job, but he said that Jebb was now in court with his father.
On the last occasion, the injured party’s father, a Mr Nolan, had expressed his dissatisfaction that no apology had yet been offered by the defendant. Now on the third anniversary of the incident, Mr Breen invited Jebb to take the witness box.
“I’m deeply sorry for what happened,” Jebb told the court. “I never intended for any of it. If I could change it I would.”
Mr Breen told Judge Staines that Jebb had been just 16 at the time, which meant he had no insight until late in the day as to what had happened.
Judge Staines described it as a very unfortunate incident involving two young people, one of whom has lost his teeth.
“He’s very fortunate he has two parents who have supported him in every way,” she said.
Judge Staines said that while the compensation would not cover the work required, the injured party’s parents have applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal for damages.
The judge remarked that this matter has been hanging over Jebb for three years now, but she noted he has no previous convictions and, at 19, he is just starting off in life. She acknowledged that Jebb had paid substantial compensation and has now apologised, although she said the apology had come very late in the day. She said she did not blame Jebb for this, however, as she felt he could have received better counselling from his parents.
The judge applied the probation act on Jebb, and said that she hoped the injured party receives his treatment and gets on with his life.