Young man who witnessed murder in Athy before the courts for assault


16-year-old driver back in court today in connection with N7 crash at Johnstown, Kildare

Athy courthouse

The case of a young man who was before Athy District Court on Tuesday last, October 9, on a charge of assault causing harm was adjourned for a Probation Report.

The 18-year-old was before the court charged with assault causing harm on January 2, 2017, at Leinster Street, Athy.

The court heard that, on that date, the defendant, alongside a co-accused, got into a verbal disagreement with the victim.

The victim then received a punch and a bicycle kick to his head by the defendant and the co-accused, causing him to suffer from concussion. He was taken to hospital at the time. The victim was not in court and there was no impact statement.

The victim reported the incident to the gardai the following day. The defendant's solicitor said in court that a sexual remark had been made by the victim about the defendant's sister that was very inappropriate. Judge Desmond Zaidan asked what the remark was, and he was told that the remark was that the defendant's sister would be anally raped. 

"Why would a stranger say that?" Judge Zaidan asked. The court heard that the remark was not in the statement given by the defendant to gardai. His statement said that the victim had touched the defendant on his genitals and he then began to beat him up.

The defendant's solicitor Jackie Mc Manus said it was because her client was too embarrassed to say it to the gardai. She said he was only 15 when he witnessed the murder of his friend, Jason Doogue, in 2015. He was sitting beside Mr Doogue on a wall when the latter was shot in a drive by shooting. "It had an horrendous effect on him," she said.

"I don't accept the story you gave me," Judge Zaidan said. "He witnessed violence and then goes and beats someone up. He is a coward. He is trying to portray himself as the victim here and that is cowardly behaviour in my book."

The court heard that the defendant has made gigantic efforts in his life since and he has no previous convictions. 

The case was adjourned for a Probation Report.

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