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17 Aug 2022

Man's face was fractured in 'outrageous' Offaly assault

Man's face was fractured in 'outrageous' Offaly assault

Man's face was fractured in 'outrageous' Offaly assault

A MAN convicted of what a judge said was an outrageous assault walked free from Tullamore court last week after lodging an appeal against a 10-month sentence.

Tullamore District Court heard Michael Lynch, Bells Well, Daingean, knocked out two of his victim's teeth and fractured his face in an early morning attack fuelled by alcohol and cocaine.

Mr Lynch, a 33-year-old father of three, pleaded guilty to assaulting Leon Delaney, causing him harm, at Bells Well on November 24, 2019.

Sergeant James O'Sullivan said when gardai came on the scene at 4.30am they saw that Leon Delaney was being attended to by paramedics and was missing two teeth.

Judge Catherine Staines was told the assault occurred when Mr Delaney, his wife, and another woman were walking home after a night out.

They met Mr Lynch who was shouting abuse in his girlfriend's face and when Mr Delaney told him to calm down, the defendant punched the victim a couple of times in the face and head and kicked him in the face when he fell to the ground.

In an interview with the gardai, Mr Lynch said he had punched Mr Delaney from behind and when the victim turned around they both fell to the ground.

Mr Delaney sustained multiple fractures to the side of his face and in a victim impact statement, he said his teeth had to be wired, he had developed a lisp, and he had to get dentures and eat pureed food for weeks.

He also had to cancel a family holiday planned for Christmas and the hardest thing he had to do was to try to explain to his children what had happened to his face while not being able to protect them from seeing his face.

Sergeant O'Sullivan said Mr Lynch had 33 previous convictions, most of which were for public order offences but he did have one conviction for assault dating from 2011.

He had received a six-month suspended sentence for that offence.

The defendant's solicitor, Donal Farrelly, said his client accepted it was an horrific assault on Mr Delaney and Mr Lynch himself was devastated by what he had done.

He had been using drink and cocaine at the time and that extremely toxic mixture led to him committing the assault when he was exchanging words with his partner and when Mr Delaney had interfered.

He had brought €1,000 to court which he had saved despite being on the Covid payment after losing his secure employment as a maintenance operator.

Mr Farrelly said Mr Lynch had also written a genuine letter of apology, was extremely saddened and ashamed, and would pay more money if given time.

Judge Staines said it had been with extreme reluctance that she accepted jurisdiction in the case but she knew the injured party was anxious that the matter be concluded.

From reading the victim impact statement she said the assault had occurred when Mr Delaney was minding his own business and then asked Mr Lynch to calm down when he was shouting and threatening to kill his girlfriend.

It was lucky for Mr Delaney that he was still alive, added the judge, saying that drink and cocaine were not an excuse.

Imposing the 10-month sentence, she noted his previous convictions and said she was giving the defendant credit for his guilty plea and his payment of compensation.

She directed the payment of a further €1,000 from the court poor box to Mr Delaney.

Judge Staines fixed recognisances for an appeal and those were taken up by Mr Lynch shortly after he was sentenced.

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