09 Aug 2022

Fought in Laois court and attacked man in shop

Fought in Laois court and attacked man in shop

Portlaoise court house

A Portlaoise man convicted of two separate counts of violent disorder, one involving a fight in the courthouse and one in which a man was beaten into a semiconscious state in a local shop, has been given suspended prison sentences at Portlaoise Circuit Court.

David Delaney (22), Clonad, Portlaoise, was charged with violent disorder on May 11, 2017, at Portlaoise Courthouse.

On that date, while the district court was in sessions he began fighting with another man in the lobby of the courthouse. It took a number of gardaí to remove the accused from the courthouse.

He was further charged with violent disorder on July 28, 2017, at the Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise, in which the man the accused fought with in the courthouse on May 11, Jason Brophy, sustained a number of injuries.

The accused and two co-accused men, Martin and William Ward who were armed with a baseball bat and a hockey stick, attacked Mr Brophy in a shop. He was drive to the ground in the course of the assault, which lasted approximately two minutes. A shop assistant also got blows to the legs during the incident.

Mr Brophy was left in a semiconscious state with blood streaming from his mouth and head.

Judge Keenan Johnson noted that the Wards were the main protagonists in the attack, which was captured on CCTV, however he said there was no doubt but that the offending was a common enterprise and the accused was equally culpable with the Wards.

In interview with gardaí, the accused said there was a history of animosity between the injured party, Mr Jason Brophy, and the Wards. Mr Brophy refused to cooperate with the garda investigation and declined to give a victim impact statement, nevertheless Judge Johnson said it was abundantly clear from viewing the CCTV footage that this was an extremely serious incident and had to be a source of grave concern to any members of the public who were in the shop at the time, and to the staff of the shop.

“It is not good enough that innocent people are terrorised while going about their daily business as a consequence of these violent and ugly feuds. Regrettably, the violence and aggression is passed from generation to generation… Feuds have no place in a civilised society.”

The judge went on to say that “the engagement of violent disorder in a legitimate business premises while innocent members of the public and staff members were present is outrageous behaviour which the court is obligate to deter by imposing a significant penal sentence”.

Judge Johnson also said that violent disorder incident within the courthouse was “an affront to the administration of justice”.

The judge imposed sentences of two years and six months, and six years respectively on the two charges, suspended for ten years on a number of conditions.

The accused was directed to enter into a peace bond to keep the peace for ten years; he must submit himself to probation supervision for two years; he must engage constructively with psychological services in order to challenge, confront and address his offending attitudes and beliefs; he must pay compensation of €2,000 each to the shop owner and the shop assistant; and he must refrain from alcohol and illicit drugs during the suspended sentence.

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