A householder fearing death threats overreacted when three men arrived at his home searching for an early-hours house party — he struck one of them in the head with a hurley and assaulted a second man.
William Hutchinson, aged 37, was at home at 23 Glenfields Avenue, Ballyvolane, when three men with the wrong directions had called to his house looking for a house party.
Graham Hyde, defending, said while Hutchinson completely overreacted to the men looking for a party, he did have reason to feel under threat from others at that time. A viable explosive device had previously been found under his car, and on another occasion such a device was posted in through his letterbox.
Hutchinson yesterday pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to a charge of assault causing harm to Martin Healy, aged 43, and to a charge of assaulting Luke Hurley, also aged 43.
Det Sgt Kieran O’Sullivan said that on February 15, 2015, the two injured parties and a third man were at a social event and got a taxi to Glenfields Avenue to go to a house where they had been told a party was taking place at around.
“Unfortunately, they went to the wrong address. That was the home of William Hutchinson,” said Det Sgt O’Sullivan.
“Mr Hutchinson came out and, without saying anything, he struck Mr Healy over the head with a hurley causing him to fall to the ground.
“His friend, Mr Hurley, went to his assistance and Mr Hutchinson attempted to strike him also.”
The three men — the two injured parties and their friend — went away to the house where the party was taking place and gardaí were notified. Later, Mr Healy had to get four staples to his head wound.
Det Sgt O’Sullivan said gardaí got a warrant to search the home of Hutchinson subsequently. They found clothing worn by the accused that morning which was stained by the blood of the injured party. A hurley was also found with blood stains of the injured party.
Hutchinson had a security camera at his front door and footage from that was examined. While it did show the various parties, it did not capture the assaults.
Insp John Deasy said the accused had previous convictions, including one for assault causing harm in November 2000.
Mr Hyde submitted that, contrary to the prosecution outline of what happened, there had been an exchange of words. “I should hope it would be accepted there was some verbals between them,” said Mr Hyde.
Outlining two previous attempts on Hutchinson’s life, Mr Hyde did not outline the background to this except to say he had liaised with the gardaí. Mr Hyde said the accused was so concerned about his safety that he varied his daily routines.
Judge Olann Kelleher said: “It is a serious matter. Of course people are entitled to protect their property but this man — no questions asked — comes out with his hurley and attacks these people and one of them gets four stitches.”
The judge adjourned sentencing until Friday, saying he wants to get updated medical information on Mr Healy’s head injury.
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