Suspended sentence after unprovoked attack on young couple in Cork city centre

A man who had just attended a religious meeting in Cork could not explain why he carried out an unprovoked assault on a couple.

Michael O’Riordan, of 19 Glendale Grove, Glasheen, Cork, pleaded guilty to assaulting the young man and woman and engaging in threatening behaviour on October 30, 2016.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the defendant had paid significant compensation to the injured parties and was anxious to avoid a criminal conviction for the offences.

Judge Olann Kelleher said the case was too serious to avoid a conviction but that in light of all of the mitigating factors, he would not impose a custodial sentence.

He imposed an overall jail term of five months suspended on condition O’Riordan would commit no further offences for two years.

Inspector Daniel Coholan said that on that date, the young man and woman were assaulted on Grand Parade.

“The accused started interfering with them, making derogatory comments and insulting remarks.

“The young man told Mr O’Riordan to cop on and go away but he came close and grabbed the injured party’s shoulder forcefully. The injured party received a number of punches to the face and head.”

He said the woman had a cut to her hand and alleged she was bitten. She had to have a tetanus injection. The man had a broken nose, four chipped teeth, a swollen eye, and possible concussion.

Mr Buttimer emphasised the absence of any previous convictions.

He said his client was under the influence of prescribed medication and alcohol. He ought not to have done what he did. There is a psychiatric assessment before the court. He is not intensely involved in treatment at the moment.

“He had been at a religious event shortly before it. He was in the company of other people from this event and they were on their way out socialising.

He sent €400 sent initially. Since then his family borrowed to pay a significant amount of compensation.”

Mr Buttimer added the injured party understood there was a background issue and has forgiven the defendant.

Judge Kelleher said the incident warranted a custodial sentence but said the defendant “has done everything right since then”.


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