Penny Dinners worker hit man over head with bottle

A worker at Cork Penny Dinners slapped a visitor over the back of the head with a bottle, but the culprit accepted yesterday that his reasons for the attack were 100% wrong and mistaken.

John Rooney, aged 52, hit the man over the back of the head causing him injuries which required his attendance at hospital, where he had to receive stitches.

Garda Lorna Healy investigated the assault which occurred on February 19 and interviewed John Rooney of the Simon community in Cork about the assault.

Garda Healy said: “He outlined the reasons why he had done what he had done. He misinterpreted something that happened between the injured party and a child in the premises.”

Donal Daly, defence solicitor, said Rooney worked for a long time with Cork Penny Dinners and still does. “He was inside in Penny Dinners. There was a transaction between the injured party and a young child. He misinterpreted it as something it was not,” said Mr Daly.

The mother of the child confirmed there was no wrongdoing.

Judge Olann Kelleher asked if any implement was used in the assault. Garda Healy said Rooney hit him with a bottle.

Insp Vincent O’Sullivan said the accused had a lot of previous convictions but they were mainly for public order offences arising out of drink, none for assault.

Mr Daly said this assault was not in Rooney’s character. While Rooney got the matter completely wrong, his belief about what was happening was genuine on his part. “What he thought he saw never occurred in fact. He accepts that what he did was 100% wrong. He made a terrible error and he apologises,” the solicitor said.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a four-month suspended sentence on a charge of assault causing harm.


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