Mother of one-punch attack victim hopes stricter sentencing will act as deterrent

Mother of one-punch attack victim hopes stricter sentencing will act as deterrent
Jack Hall Ellis

The mother of a young man who died following a one-punch attack has said she hopes the sentence handed down to his killer will act as a deterrent to others.

20-year-old Luke O'Reilly died following the attack in Tallaght on Halloween night in 2017.

Last Friday, apprentice carpenter Jack Hall Ellis, of Lismore Road in Crumlin, was sentenced to five years in jail for the unlawful killing of Mr O'Reilly.

The court heard that on the night in question Jack Ellis Hall drank seven to 10 double shots and that he acted in "drunkenness and anger".

The victim's mother Janet O'Brien said she was extremely relieved about the length of the sentence handed down.

"It could have been as little as a year or two and other mothers that I've met have had far (shorter) sentences," said Ms O'Brien.

Luke battled for life for almost two weeks. However, his injuries were too severe and on November 13 2017, he passed away.

Mother of one-punch attack victim hopes stricter sentencing will act as deterrent

Luke's family decided to donate his organs and three people benefitted, which Janet said helped her through her grief.

"To think that you could be sitting on the phone with a big smile the day after your son had gone...I couldn't believe it, but I was so thrilled," she said.

"There is Luke, still out and about (and) after doing good."

Passing sentence last Friday, Judge Melanie Greally said that one-punch assaults are now a recurring feature of the caseload in the courts. She said sentences handed down must discourage others from carrying out these attacks.

"I was extremely relieved that the judge recognised that this is now a huge problem," said Ms O'Brien.

"This is so commonplace and I know people think 'boys will be boys' but if this makes even a few people think before they swing their fists about."

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