Gardaí add two new charges against man in custody over alleged pensioner assault

A man in custody for an alleged assault on a pensioner has received two new charges arising out of the same incident and offered apologies when they were put to him by gardaí.

Gardaí add two new charges against man in custody over alleged pensioner assault

A man in custody for an alleged assault on a pensioner has received two new charges arising out of the same incident and offered apologies when they were put to him by gardaí.

Jonathan O’Driscoll has been in custody since March in connection with the assault on Christy O’Callaghan which left the 73-year-old critically ill in hospital.

Mr O’Driscoll, aged 30 and with a previous address at Coolcower House in Macroom, had already been charged with assault causing harm when he appeared before a special sitting of Bantry District Court in late March in connection with the incident at Sleaveen East, Macroom, on March 21.

This morning he appeared before Macroom District Court where he received two new charges, one relating to an alleged robbery and the other relating to an assault causing serious harm. Both arise out of the same incident on March 21.

Det. Garda Alan O’Sullivan told Judge James McNulty that when he charged Mr O’Driscoll that morning in relation to the theft, the defendant replied: “Apologies to him.”

The court heard that this charge related to the theft of bank cards and a silver Seiko gents watch.

The other charge was for an alleged assault causing serious harm. Det. Garda O’Sullivan said following caution Mr O’Driscoll replied: “I am extremely sorry for what I did and I apologise.

“I was under a lot of stress.”

Gardaí had objected to bail at the first court hearing in March and following the two new charges being handed down Sgt Brian Harte again objected to any release on bail.

He said gardai feared Mr O’Driscoll would be a flight risk were he released on bail. Sgt Harte also said Mr O’Driscoll had been living in a rented room but was of no fixed abode so gardaí were unsure where he would live if he were granted bail. He also referred to the seriousness of the charges.

“This was a very serious assault which occurred late at night in Macroom which was completely unprovoked,” Sgt Harte said.

“The injured party is still hospitalised. There is no sign of him leaving hospital any time soon. The injuries were quite significant.”

Mr O'Callaghan, of New St in Macroom, was sleeping in his van near a funeral home when he was assaulted in the early hours of March 21. He has previously trained a number of winners of the Irish greyhound Laurels, including in 1975, 1982, 1983 and 1995.

Through solicitor Patrick Goold, standing in for solicitor Flor Murphy, Mr O’Driscoll said he had “no problem” handing in his passport, and said he could stay at his sister’s house in Macroom.

Judge James McNulty said gardaí could carry out checks in relation to that but the court would not release Mr O’Driscoll from custody today.

The judge instructed gardaí to prepare and serve the book of evidence in relation to all charges by no later than July 25.

The judge technically released Mr O’Driscoll on bail on the new charges on his own bond of €100 but in respect of the existing charge he was remanded in continuing custody until July 17, to appear before Macroom District Court.

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