25 Sept 2022

22-month sentence imposed by Kildare judge


22-month sentence imposed by Kildare judge

The sentencing was heard in Naas District Court on Thursday, September 8. File Photo

A custodial sentence for a total of 22 months was handed down to a man at Naas District Court on Thursday, September 8.

Derek Leigh, with an address listed as 21 Coney Meadows, Coneyboro in Athy, was convicted for punching a male at the Crookstown Inn in Athy on May 9 last, and for threatening to burn down the premises on the same date.

It was heard that the assault victim had made a full physical recovery.

The 35-year-old , appeared via video link on the day, as he is currently serving a custodial sentence for another offence.

Two victim impact statements were given to Judge Desmond Zaidan: one from the victim, and one from the owner of the Crookstown Inn.

Aisling Murphy, Mr Leigh’s barrister, told Judge Desmond Zaidan that her client previously struggled with a heroin addiction, and also showed the judge two letters of apology written by her client: one addressed to the court, and another addressed to the victim of the assault.

The victim said that he and his partner are now anxious about going out to pubs and social events as a result of the incident, while the owner said that he fears for his staff’s safety.

"We feel on edge if someone we don’t know comes into our premises," the owner said.

Mr Leigh also personally apologised to the judge for 'wasting the court’s time.'

After consideration, Judge Zaidan said that he was satisfied that 'the aggravating features outweigh the defendant’s personal circumstances.'

He imposed an 11-month sentence on Mr Leigh for the assault offence, and a further 11-month sentence for the criminal damage threat.

Ms Murphy asked Judge Zaidan to backdate the sentences to May 12, the date of her client’s original sentence, which he agreed to do.

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