Business student jailed for drunken assault

People who commit acts of extreme violence after consuming drink and drugs will be made accountable for their actions in the courts, a High Court judge warned today.

People who commit acts of extreme violence after consuming drink and drugs will be made accountable for their actions in the courts, a High Court judge warned today.

Mr Justice Paul Carney made his comments as he jailed Dubliner Neal Barbour for 18 months for assaulting two men on the night Templeogue teenager Brian Mulvaney was beaten to death in March 2000.

Barbour had earlier been acquitted of the murder of Brian Mulvaney, aged 19. Mr Mulvaney's mother, Annie Mulvaney, was in court today when Barbour was sentenced for assaulting the two men.

Barbour, aged 21, of Domville Road, Templeogue, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Matthew O'Dowd on March 11, 2000 at Templeogue Road and to producing a weapon, namely a drinking glass, to intimidate Mr O'Dowd.

He also admitted assaulting Carl Dunne on the same date. The state entered a nolle prosequi on a further charge of assault with intent to rob.

In evidence, Superintendent (then Inspector) Tony Brislane told the court that on the night in question the accused had drank seven pints of alcohol.

Superintendent Brislane said Neal Barbour had a pint glass in his hand and he hit Matthew O'Dowd causing him lacerations to the head, nose and chin.

Mr Erwan Mill Arden SC, defending, said Neal Barbour was "older and wiser" and was now a "sober citizen".

He was "no longer a callow youth" who drank too much when it was given to him by others. Mr Justice Carney then demanded to know what counsel meant: "Was it poured down his throat?"

No, counsel accepted, adding he had already said "he was happy to take it".

However, he has gone on to become an outstanding student at business college. He had been named student of the year and was hoping to pursue a degree in business management and marketing.

Jailing Barbour for 18 months on the two counts of assault and six months on the third count, all sentences to run concurrently, the judge said: "This court is repeatedly dealing with situations in which persons of previous good character and good families commit acts of extreme violence in circumstances in which they can scarcely remember."

The common factor in these cases is the substantial amount of drink and drugs involved.

The courts will have to make it clear that these people are going to be responsible for their actions, Justice Carney warned.

The judge made it clear however, that he was "dealing with this episode of the night" and not what happened later on.

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