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Two men jailed for punching and kicking a female wheelchair user outside her home

The two men pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

TWO MEN WHO punched a female wheelchair user in the face, kicked her and knocked her to the ground have been jailed.

Darren Rowe (22) and Eoin Greene (23) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Mandy Kennedy outside her home at Meadowlands Park, Monkstown, Dublin on November 21, 2017.

Judge Karen O’Connor sentenced Rowe to three and a half years in prison with the final 12 months suspended, and his co-accused, Greene to two and a half years in prison.

Sentencing the men, Judge O’Connor said they acted out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to each other, as they were involved in a disagreement with the injured woman’s son at the time.

She described the attack as “gratuitous violence against a vulnerable person in a wheelchair who tried to get away but could not.”

Garda Brian O’Neill told the court that Mandy Kennedy became a wheelchair user after a spinal injury some years ago. On the day of the assault she left her home to go to a local shop when she overheard insults being directed at her by the two defendants.

Greene, of Dunedin Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, kicked her legs and taunted her about her wheelchair use while Rowe of Oliver Plunkett Road, Monkstown tried to prevent her from moving away from the two men, Garda O’Brien said.

Greene then punched her in the face, and Rowe then delivered a number of blows to her face and upper body.

Garda O’Brien said Mandy Kennedy was knocked to the ground and an ambulance was called. She was treated for a suspected fractured eye socket in hospital.

Ms Kennedy read her victim impact statement to the court and said she had suffered constant headaches, sought the services of a psychologist and endured major anxiety as a result of the attack.

She told the court that she had to leave her family home and be rehoused in the aftermath of the assault.

Judge O’Connor said she noted that both men had significant drug addictions and were both very young men. She gave the two men credit for the guilty pleas and their supportive families who were present in court. The judge noted that Rowe had suffered very significant bereavements in his life.

The court heard Rowe has 26 previous convictions, while Greene has 34 convictions.

She said Ms Kennedy was not seriously injured but she incurred significant psychological and emotional suffering.

“It seems you acted out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to each other,” she told the defendants.

Judge O’Connor said that they should have simply walked away rather than choosing to attack Ms Kennedy.

“You are at such a young stage of your lives, you have a choice as to what happens next. Spend the majority of it in prison or rehabilitate,” she told the men.

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Sarah Jane Murphy

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