Grandfather who became involved in a violent incident in a pet shop jailed for 18 months

A grandfather who became involved in a violent incident in a pet shop after his son got into a dispute about a parking space has been jailed for 18 months.

Noel Dempsey (61) of Stannaway Road, Dublin 12, initially denied charges of assault causing harm to Mark Eagers and violent disorder.

On the second day of his trial before a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury he asked to be re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to the charge of violent disorder at Purrrfect Pets, Longmile Road on February 5, 2011.

Dempsey's daughter, Vicky Dempsey (36) also of Stannaway Road, got a two year suspended sentence in February 2015 after she also pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

The court heard she had dragged a woman backwards by the hair as her brother Karl Dempsey (38) was attacking Mr Eagers.

Karl Dempsey, also of Stannaway Road, was jailed for 20 months in May 2015 after he also pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

The court heard Mr Eagers was left with a broken nose and a set of keys lodged in his thumb.

Judge John Aylmer described it as a savage, unprovoked and cowardly attack. He refused to accept a submission by Keith Spencer BL, defending, that Noel Dempsey's only intention in going into the pet store was to prevent Vicky “losing the head”.

He said the CCTV footage showed Noel Dempsey going into the store with “calm determination” to support his son as he set upon the victim. “He assisted his son in inflicting the injuries to Mr Eagers,” the judge said while acknowledging that he played a lesser role than Karl.

He said Karl Dempsey had been the aggressor in the initial altercation with Mr Eagers in the car park but said Karl had “bit off more than he could chew” as the victim had a considerable ability to defend himself and get away from Dempsey, escaping to the pet store.

The judge said Karl then summoned the assistance of his father and sister to accompany him into the pet shop to “seek his revenge”.

Sergeant Anne Byrne told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, that earlier in the day as Mr Eagers parked up his car outside the pet store he heard beeping from a Smart car driven by Karl Dempsey, who accused him of taking his space.

Dempsey drove off but returned on foot to confront Mr Eagers. A scuffle broke out between the two men, Mr Eagers received blows while he elbowed Karl Dempsey.

Mr Eagers called the gardaí and was advised to go inside the shop to wait for their arrival. While in the store Mr Eagers was looking at his phone before Karl Dempsey punched him to the back of head causing him to fall to the ground.

His head was stamped on and he was kicked to the head before he blacked out.

CCTV showed Dempsey punch Mr Eagers in the back of his head when he entered the store with his girlfriend. The footage showed the victim being kicked and stamped on the head as Karl Dempsey and others attacked him.

Sgt Byrne said Noel Dempsey had 103 previous convictions dating back to 1970, which include road traffic, handling or receiving stolen property, theft, drugs and burglary offences.

Mr Spencer said his client's case had been delayed coming to trial because of his extreme ill-health.

He has 21 stents in his heart, has had five bypass operations and is in currently in remission from cancer.

Counsel submitted that Noel Dempsey had nothing to do with the scuffle about the parking space and arrived on the scene to find his son with a cut over his eye.

He suggested that Dempsey had gone into the pet store to prevent Vicky “losing the head” and claimed this had been his only intention.

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