Pair jailed for assaulting women outside Cork pub

A Co Cork man has beem jailed for two years after “a cowardly blow” which knocked a woman unconscious.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin yesterday imposed the sentence on Michael Murphy, aged 32, of 28 Woodfield Hall, Station Rd, Blarney.

Murphy was found guilty, on Thursday of assault causing harm to Laura O’Callaghan outside Soho Bar in Cork City.

He had previous convictions included assault causing harm and a firearms charge. He had been jailed on both.

The judge said he allowed for the fact there had been a disturbance in the bar earlier and that Ms O’Callaghan had slapped Murphy’s face.

However, he said: “That matter had been finished. He was on Tobin St and he came out of the laneway and he made his way around the front and he deliberately took a running go at Laura O’Callaghan.

“He took her completely unawares and dealt her a cowardly blow to the head which floored her. Given the nature of the assault and the level of deliberateness, and the previous convictions, a two-year sentence is appropriate.”

Co-accused Garrett Hill, aged 33, of 18 The View, Gleann Na Rí, Tower, Blarney, CoCork, was given a one-year sentence after the jury convicted him for assault causing harm to Breda O’Callaghan-O’Connell — Laura O’Callaghan’s mother — inside Soho.

In respect of Hill, the judge said CCTV showed the incident at Soho was caused by Laura O’Callaghan slapping Murphy’s face but Hill could be seen reaching over others to punch Ms O’Callaghan-O’Connell, who was some distance from him. In her victim impact report, Ms O’Callaghan-O’Connell said that she had no idea why Hill would hit a woman of her age.

In her victim impact report, Ms O’Callaghan said it was her sincere wish that Murphy would stay away from her in future.

Marjorie Farrelly SC, for Hill, said it was an unpremeditated incident. “He pleaded not guilty and maintains that.”

James O’Mahony SC, for Murphy, reminded the judge the incident began with Ms O’Callaghan slapping Murphy and then throwing glasses indiscriminately.

During cross-examination, Ms O’Callaghan said she was not the one who was on trial. She said she had pleaded guilty to her part in the incident and the matter had been dealt with in Cork District Court.

On the second day of the trial, the State had withdrew a number of other charges against both accused.

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