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Dublin man jailed for 18 months for unprovoked beer bottle attack on Afghan cyclists

One of the three victims was a 13-year-old boy, who has since left Ireland as ‘he doesn’t feel safe here’.

SCC Rolling 7 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

A MAN HAS been jailed for his part in an unprovoked attack on three Afghani nationals including a thirteen-year-old boy who had been on a cycling trip in a park.

Christopher Connors (22), of Carrickmines, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder in Ballinteer on 5 May 2016.

Last December his brother John Connors (20) of the same address and his cousin Joseph Connors (22) of Ballycullen, Dublin, each received a three year sentence with the final 18 months suspended from Judge Cormac Quinn. They pleaded guilty to the same offence.

Yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan also sentenced Christopher Connors to three years with the final 18 months suspended after he said he saw no reason to depart from Judge Quinn’s judgement of the case.

Judge Nolan described it as “an unprovoked, serious attack” in which Christopher Connors “participated fully”. He noted he was armed with a bottle and that one of the victims was left with a broken nose.

CCTV evidence was gathered from a passing Dublin Bus and several of its passengers recorded the incident on their phones. The footage, which was played in court, shows Christopher Connors striking with a beer bottle and throwing punches and a kick.

It also shows Joseph Connors aiming two kicks at a man who had been knocked to the ground and John Connors knocking one of the men to the ground with a punch. John Connors can then be seen knocking the child to the ground with a punch and kicking him while he was on the ground.

The men fled from the scene in their car.

Sentence hearing

Garda John Healy told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting at the sentence hearing last year, that three males from Afghanistan had been cycling in Marlay Park and were on a cycling lane along a road when men began shouting at them from an adjacent car.

The car driven by John Connors, which contained Joseph and Christopher Connors and one other man, pulled in in front of the three males and they were forced to stop. The men got out of the car and confronted the three males.

Statements such as “What are you doing in my country?” and “What have you done to my fucking family?” were shouted at the three males.

A man, who was not before the court, punched one of the adults in the head. When the victim tried to defend himself the other three men from the car began attacking all three victims.

One of the Afghani nationals sustained a broken nose during the incident. He has had several operations on his nose, none of which were covered by a medical card.

The thirteen-year-old boy has since left the country because “he doesn’t feel safe here”.

Joseph Connors has 56 previous convictions for offences including burglary, trespassing with intent, and public order offences. The majority of these were District Court convictions, with the exception of a hit-and-run conviction dealt with in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

John Connors has two previous convictions for minor road traffic offences. Christopher Connors has five previous convictions for public order and affray.

Dean Kelly BL, defending Christopher Connors, said that he and his brother had been raised single handedly by their mother, whom he described as a decent, hard-working woman.

He submitted that his client played a less serious role and had been drinking on the night.

A letter from Christopher’s mother described him as a good son with a talent for sport. She said he was terrified of prison but knows it is something he has to face.

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Sonya McClean

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