A six-year jail sentence was imposed today on the man whose assault left one of Cork’s most famous sports stars – Miah Dennehy – unable to lead an independent life.
David Naughton (aged 54) from Avonmore Park, Mayfield, Cork city, had the last two years of the six-year term suspended by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin who described the assault on Mr Dennehy (aged 59) outside the Fob and Gill pub in Mayfield on August 17 2007 as premeditated.
"This was a vicious, premeditated and very violent assault," said Judge Ó Donnabháin. "You (Naughton) admitted you struck the blow, other than that you tried to spread a web of confusion, diabetic or otherwise (Naughton had blamed diabetes for loss of control).
"I have CCTV and independent witnesses showing exactly what happened. They show the level of your animosity and antagonism building up over time in a threatening mood saying to the victim he messed with the wrong man.
“It was a very serious assault, it has had a permanent serious debilitating effect on the victim, he will never be the same again."
Defence senior counsel, Blaise O’Carroll, described what happened to Mr Dennehy as a great tragedy. He said Naughton was very remorseful particularly since Mr Dennehy was his friend.
The senior counsel said the accused had never been violent before and had suffered himself as a result of the assault.
A victim impact statement written by Joe Dennehy, brother of Miah Dennehy, was previously read out at Cork Circuit Criminal Court: "The family feel as a whole that at the time of the incident if David Naughton had called an ambulance or some sort of assistance from others there could have been some difference in the outcome of Miah's injuries and the family could have been able to give some sort of forgiveness, however we cannot, as Mr Naughton did not render any help and made his way back to the bar where he continued to drink his beer."
Detective Sergeant Seán O’Regan said Naughton did not work and was on disability benefit and was a heavy drinker and gambler.