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Man jailed for random attacks in Cork after claiming 'older men are more likely to be sex offenders'

The judge branded Kyle Duggan’s remarks as “nonsensical” and “without foundation”.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Image: courts.ie

A MAN WHO randomly attacked two pensioners because he believed older men were more likely to be sex offenders has been jailed for three years with the last 18 months suspended.

Kyle Duggan (31), of no fixed abode, targeted the elderly men in unprovoked attacks which occurred in March 2018 in Cork city. One of the men was head-butted and required surgery to his face.

Judge Sean O’Donnabhain was told that the first assault victim was a 75-year-old man who was standing on a footpath waiting to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing at Bachelor Quay in Cork city.

Duggan hit the pensioner in the back in a “rugby style tackle” sending him sprawling out onto the roadway.

Garda Brian Barron told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that there was no interaction between the man and Duggan. He was found face down on the ground by a passer-by and taken to the Mercy University Hospital in Cork. He incurred cuts and severe bruising down his shoulder.

Ninety minutes later Mr Duggan approached a 73-year-old man who was walking on North Main Street in the city. Duggan head-butted him causing him to fall.

The elderly man suffered three broken bones in his face as a result and needs on-going hospital treatment. He required surgery as a result of fractures sustained in the incident.

None of the parties were known to each other.

Duggan was arrested later that day but his explanations for his actions were far from rational, according to Garda Barron:

His reasons were hard enough to follow. They were a bit all over the place. There was no rational reason for the assaults. He agreed they were completely unprovoked. The explanation he gave was bizarre — that they were older men and more likely to be sex offenders. His rationalisation made no sense.

Judge O’Donnabhain said that the remarks were “nonsensical” and “without foundation.”

No victim impact statements were furnished to the court. Duggan stated his wish to apologise to the victims in the case for his actions.

The court heard that the accused had 95 previous convictions. Judge O’Donnabhain recalled that Duggan had pleaded guilty to an unprovoked assault on an elderly man in Cork in 2016.

At that time Duggan was sentenced to three years with the final 18 months suspended.

He pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm to the men at North Gate Bridge and Cornmarket Street in Cork on 5 March, 2018.

At the time of the March assaults Duggan was still serving a suspended period which was reactivated by Judge Sean O’Donnabhain at a sitting of the Circuit Court last year.

The court was told by Senior Counsel, Dermot Sheehan, that when his client (Kyle Duggan) was released from prison he chose not to engage with services and to live on the streets.

He was not able to access anti-psychotic medication at the time of the attacks as he had no medical card due to his chaotic life.. He had no drink or drugs taken at the time of the assaults.

Sheehan said that his client had entered an early guilty plea in the case and was remorseful for his actions.

Judge O’Donnabhain said Duggan chose members of the public who were extremely vulnerable because of their age.

“Medical supervision in this case seems to be non-existent. He identified elderly and vulnerable men for this violence.”

Duggan went in to garda custody following his arrest in March of 2018.

Judge O’Donnabhain said that the case was complex given the mental health issues faced by hum He stated that Duggan was “highly volatile and potentially dangerous without medication.”

He described the headbutting of the pensioner as “a cowardly” attack and said that the actions of the accused caused serious harm to two elderly gentleman.

He added that Mr Duggan required proper supervision and medical help in the community following his release from prison.

Judge O’Donnabhain jailed Duggan for three years with the last 18 months suspended.

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Olivia Kelleher

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