A 44-year-old man suffering from MS had one of his crutches used to beat him severely on the head and his attacker then caught the crutch and held it to the victim’s neck until he lost consciousness.
Darren Linehan of 47 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, Cork, was sentenced to two years in jail on charges including assault causing harm to the man with MS which occurred in the victim’s own home.
Garda Damien Cronin said Linehan and his then-girlfriend went to the injured party’s home in Blackpool, Cork, on October 25, 2019 and they had a few drinks together.
At one stage the injured party went to the toilet and when he returned to the two guests in the sitting room, Darren Linehan used one of the victim’s own crutches to strike him on the head.
He later required 31 staples to this long head wound in hospital.
“He managed to crawl from the living room. Darren Linehan then jumped on top of him and used the crutch to try and choke him (on the floor). He lost consciousness,” Garda Cronin said.
Linehan left the house with a gold watch, gold necklace and Regatta jacket belonging to the victim.
It was not until the next morning that the injured party regained consciousness. Because of heavy medication he was on for chronic MS, he did not realise the extent of his injuries and did not go to hospital until a few days later on the advice of a neighbour. As well as the laceration to his head, he had a broken arm and severe bruising to the front of his neck, back and arms.
In mitigation Sinead Behan defence barrister said the accused came forward to Cork Circuit Criminal Court on a signed plea of guilty. She said alcohol was a major factor in what was an emotional night and that Linehan had a long history of drink and drug problems but never engaged with rehabilitation.
In further mitigation, Ms Behan said the assault and theft was opportunistic and that Linehan did not bring a weapon with him but used the injured party’s crutch which was at the scene.
A second crime of violence was committed by Linehan three months earlier and he was also sentenced for that.
Linehan admitted to the part he played in an assault causing harm to the woman and robbery of cigarettes from her on Tobin Street on July 19, 2019. His accomplice was sentenced earlier in the week to 18 months.
Linehan also got 18 months for his part in that and a concurrent term of three years with the last year suspended for the assault on the man at his home in Blackpool.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said of the Blackpool attack. “This man suffered significant injuries from a violent attack. He was very vulnerable an in the throes of the significant disease of MS. He was not in any great position to defend himself. He was in a helpless and hopeless position.
“Not alone did he assault him but he stole his jacket, chain and watch and maintained they were his when questioned by the guards.”