Three-year sentence for man who attacked teen

A Swords "thug" who punched a 16-year-old boy in the face, knocking him to the ground because the victim had been looking at him, has been sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Frank O'Donnell.

Jonathan Gormley (aged 26) of The Close, Melrose Park, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the teenager causing him harm at The Green, also in Melrose Park, on July 18, 2006. His 42 previous convictions included criminal damage and road traffic offences.

Judge O'Donnell said that Gormley had been acting like "a thug" and described the attack as "gratuitous, just because you claimed he had been looking at you". He said that there had been "a heck of a difference in age" between the two.

"It was only one punch but I have had to deal with cases in which one punch has led to a fractured skull and death," Judge O'Donnell said after he noted that the boy had hit his head off the ground but was left with no serious injuries.

He suspended the last year of the sentence on condition that Gormley keep the peace and be of good behaviour for four years and liaise with the probation service for two years upon his release from prison.

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