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'It was a scummy thing, I know': Man jailed for 5 years for punching victim twice

The victim’s balance and ability to process visual and spoken information had been severely impacted.

File photo
File photo
Image: infomatique via Flickr

A WICKLOW MAN has been jailed for five years for punching a man and leaving him with lifelong brain injuries after the victim allegedly called him a ‘Paki’.

The victim, Gerard McManus, fell to the ground in Temple Bar after been punched by Aaron O’Donoughoe (21). The court heard O’Donoughoe then lifted up his victim’s head and punched him again.

Mr McManus suffered bleeding and swelling on the brain. It was initially thought he made a good recovery from the injury but a later assessment showed his balance and ability to process visual and spoken information had been severely impacted.

He has intermittent headaches, can no longer concentrate for long periods and has issues with his balance. He requires daily care and now lives with his mother.

O’Donoughoe, of Redford Park, Greystones, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm in Temple Bar on 20 April 2014.

When gardaí put it to O’Donoughoe that he allegedly hit the victim, O’Donoughoe replied, “Not allegedly. I fucking did hit him, like.”

O’Donoughoe said he “lost the plot when he called me a Paki and he said he was going to stick a needle in my neck”. O’Donoughoe admitted he was also “giving it back” to Mr McManus.

He said he told Mr McManus numerous times he was going to “kick his head in” because the victim was “pestering” him about giving him a can of cider.

Prosecuting counsel, Rosin Lacey SC, said the Director of Public Prosecutions views the offence as being on the upper end of the scale of seriousness.

Judge Martin Nolan noted this offence had been judged by the Court of Appeal to be deserving of a sentence of up to 12-and-a-half years.

He imposed a five-year term after taking into account O’Donoughoe’s own difficult background and his remorse. He said the accused did not intend to cause a brain injury.

Garda Enda Dowling said O’Donoughoe told gardaí that McManus was pestering him over cans and that he only had a few left. He said Mr McManus called him an “ungrateful bastard” and a row broke out.

Witnesses later saw O’Donoughoe tell others, “I knocked him out cold”.

When an ambulance arrived the accused told paramedics:

I did it. I can’t believe I hit him so hard. I hope he’s ok.

When arrested, he told gardaí he punched McManus a second time while he was semi-conscious on the ground, adding, “It’s a scummy thing, I know.”

Defence counsel, Sean Gillane SC, said O’Donoughoe was a man with his own problems who lived a sort of “street life” around the Temple Bar area. He said he came from a difficult background and was in residential care as a child.

More: 15-year-old boy charged with alleged rape of teenage girl in Dublin park

Read: Man who stabbed mother to death with kitchen knife found not guilty by reason of insanity

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About the author:

Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher

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