Court hears Offaly was man robbed and assaulted on way to buy engagement ring
A MAN who owes compensation for assault and criminal damage was himself attacked and robbed when he was on his way to buy an engagement ring, Tullamore District Court was told.
Judge Catherine Staines imposed a 10-month suspended sentence on Aaron Holt, aged 22, from 24 Killane Drive, Edenderry after telling him he must get his priorities right.
Donal Farrelly, defending solicitor, told the court Mr Holt had received 111 staples in his head as a result of the assault.
Mr Holt told Judge Staines he had lost the money he intended to use to buy the engagement ring when he was robbed in the same incident.
Judge Staines said Mr Holt owed compensation to Fintan Phelan in relation to damage caused to a door in a case which dated back to October 2018.
She said he had not paid a penny to Mr Phelan since yet he was saying he was going to buy an engagement ring.
In addition to at least six adjournments in relation to the payments due to the court because of the damage at an apartment on Francis Street, Edenderry, about five warrants had been issued for the man.
Sergeant James O'Sullivan told the court that €750 was still outstanding in compensation.
Mr Farrelly said his client's difficulties were enormous, financially and otherwise, and he also owed €2,000 in relation to a Circuit Court case.
A father of three, he had been able to make payments to the Circuit Court when he was in employment but he was no longer working.
Mr Farrelly said the man was facing a two-year prison sentence if he did not pay the €2,000 but he had no money at present.
The accused himself told the court he had no money and was waiting to get the Covid payment.
Judge Staines said she did not think there was any reality in him being able to pay the €750 to Mr Phelan because of the assault but it was nonetheless a serious matter.
She ordered that €500 be paid from the court poor box to the victim instead.
The Circuit Court case involving Mr Holt relates to an assault on a Hungarian man in Edenderry on November 5, 2016.
The victim, who was aged 21, sustained a broken nose and fractured cheekbone in the assault, and had to be treated both at Mullingar Hospital and in the Eye and Ear and St James's, Dublin.
A sitting of the court in November 2018 was told the prosecution of Mr Holt arose after a group of youths were seen at the harbour area in Edenderry.
They dispersed when a patrol car arrived and the group ran in different directions leaving one person behind, the assault victim. He was described in court as a badly injured individual with cuts to his hands and face.
He had since returned to his home country.
Judge Keenan Johnson told the court he recalled when Mr Holt had been before him in Mullingar Circuit Court for other offences, including assault, and a suspended sentence of two years had been imposed.
He had also been ordered to pay €10,000 compensation in five instalments and Judge Johnson said the youth had a “complete meltdown” for a period at the time of the offences.
He was described as a talented hurler and boxer in court and a probation report said he now had a sense of responsibility and was receiving counselling.
However, even though there seemed to be a genuine sense of remorse, he was deemed to be at high risk of reoffending.
Also in 2018, Mr Holt was before the District Court for road traffic offences, and the court heard he was addicted to cocaine.
He had driven at 100kph in a 50kph zone in Edenderry before being stopped by gardai and was banned from the road for two years.