22-year-old jailed for New Year’s Day assault

A man has been sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to two and a half years in prison, with 18 months suspended, for assaulting 20-year-old Dale Creighton, who died in hospital after he was attacked in Tallaght on New Year’s Day.
22-year-old jailed for New Year’s Day assault

James O’Brien, aged 22, of The Mill, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty last June to assault causing harm to Mr Creighton on St Dominic’s Rd, Tallaght.

Seven other people in their 20s are charged in connection with the death.

At yesterday’s sentence hearing, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy told the court that, on New Year’s Eve, Mr Creighton was attending a house party. He left at 3am. Mr Creighton split up from his friends and intended to return to the house party. The court heard that a larger group of people were at the Plaza, where “considerable alcohol was consumed”.

Allegations were made that somebody stole a handbag and phone, the court heard.

“They took the view that Mr Creighton had involvement,” Ms Justice Kennedy said.

Mr Creighton was chased and caught on a footbridge, where he was assaulted by people other than Mr O’Brien, the court heard.

The court heard that Mr O’Brien arrived in a car and that his actions were seen on CCTV last week in court.

“It is crystal clear he punched and kicked Mr Creighton while he was lying prone on the ground,” said Ms Justice Kennedy.

Mr O’Brien punched Mr Creighton nine times, the court heard, before leaving the scene.

Mr Creighton died later in hospital and Mr O’Brien was arrested.

When asked by gardaí about injuries to his hand, Mr O’Brien said that, during an argument in his house he punched two holes in a door, the court heard.

The court heard that Mr Paul Greene, defending, expressed remorse last week on behalf of Mr O’Brien and that his probation report described him as “a moderate risk of reoffending”.

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