A 64-year-old man intervened when he saw a teenager raising his arms and shouting at a girl in Beaumont Park in Cork but the teenager punched the older man, leaving him with a fractured left eye socket.
The culprit was jailed for eight months for the attack yesterday.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he had to take a serious view of the case.
Alex McSweeney, aged 18, of 50 Cherrylawn, Church Rd, Cork, was sentenced to the eight months for assault causing harm to John McCarthy on Jun 19, 2013.
Insp Bill Duane outlined the background to the incident for the judge at Cork District Court. The inspector said Mr McCarthy was walking through the park at 9.30pm when he saw a verbal row between a male and female.
“He saw the male raising his hands to the female in a threatening manner.”
The man was punched in the face when he tried to intervene, the inspector said.
Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said: “Alex McSweeney’s life has crumbled around him. He came from a very good background and had a very good education. But his life as he knew it is gone.”
In mitigation, Mr Kelleher referred to key incidents in his past, including a bad fall where he suffered a wound to his skull at the age of 10 that affected subsequent behaviour. The solicitor said the teenager also reacted badly to the death four years ago of his grandmother, with whom he had been close.
Shorter concurrent sentences were imposed on McSweeney for public order offences and for a second case of assault causing harm. That arose out of biting Garda John Gerard Harrington on the finger during his arrest at the scene of a domestic disturbance on Jul 23.
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