A judge has stated that it is fortunate that at least two out of four unprovoked assaults committed by a 25-year old man in Ennis did not end in fatalities.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan made his comment before sentencing Pavel Kratochvil formerly of Ard Caoin, Gort Rd, Ennis to three years in jail and suspending the final year.
The random assaults carried out by Mr Kratochvil occurred over a six minute spell from 6.25pm on or near the O’Connell Street area in Ennis on April 1st 2019.
In the case, Mr Kratochvil pleaded guilty to assaulting causing harm to a 59 year old customer, Gabriel Doyle (59) in the upstairs of Supermac’s in Ennis while Mr Doyle was eating his meal on April 1st 2019.
Garda Kevin Hooban stated that Mr Kratochvil had inflicted a “bombardment” of punches on Mr Doyle.
A native of the Czech Republic, Mr Kratochvil knocked out another man, Brian Meeney (53) cold as he made his away from Supermacs and then proceeded to assault a couple in their 70s as they got out of their car to attend a funeral in Ennis.
CCTV footage of the assaults on Mr Doyle and Mr Meeney by Mr Kratochvil were shown to the court and Judge O’Callaghan stated: “We are all fortunate that there is not a fatality in at least two of these assaults.” Judge O’Callaghan stated that Mr Kratochvil had engaged in ‘abominable conduct” and what occurred “was nothing short of appalling”.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that he come across other assaults where less force was used that resulted in the death of someone.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that it was the misfortune of the four people to come into Mr Kratochvil’s firing line.
He stated that CCTV had shown Mr Kratochvil landing multiple punches on the head of “very honest, decent” Mr Doyle for 15 to 20 seconds as he ate his meal at a table minding his own business in the upstairs of Supermacs.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that the wound of Mr Doyle’s mind from the assault continues.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that CCTV showed a one punch assault on Mr Meeney near the Temple Gate Hotel knocked Mr Meeney to the ground “and for good measure, Mr Kratochvil decided to give him a good kicking while on the ground”.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that Mr Kratochvil then proceeded to assault a couple in their 70s as they got out of the car to attend a funeral in Ennis.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that Mr Kratochvil punched the man in his 70s and then kicked him while on the ground while he pushed the man’s wife as she went to her husband’s aid.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that the aggravating factors in the case stated that the assaults were unprovoked, that Mr Kratochvil abandoned the scene.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that Mr Kratochvil has 18 previous convictions but none were violence related.
The judge stated that concerning other mitigating factors, Mr Kratochvil entered a plea of guilty and the Mr Kratochvil’s efforts at rehabilitation appear to be genuine.
Judge O’Callaghan stated that Mr Kratochvil’s culpability in the case was low due to his mental state at the time of the assaults.
Mr Kratochvil is a diagnosed schizophrenic and told Gardai that he was walking around like a programmed robot Counsel for Mr Mr Kratochvil, Rebecca Treacy BL stated that it was clear from the Garda interviews that her client didn’t have an understanding of his actions.
Ms Treacy stated that there had been concerns about Mr Kratochvil’s psychiatric fitness to plead in the case and it was found that he could.
Ms Treacy stated that the attacks were not premeditated.
In the case, Judge O’Callaghan imposed a 12 month for the assault on Mr Doyle and a two year prison term on the assault of Mr Meeney.
Judge O’Callaghan also imposed a two year jail term on the assault on the man in his 70s and five months for the assault on his wife.
Judge O’Callaghan ordered that the prison terms for the assaults on Mr Doyle and Mr Meeney be consecutive and the assaults on the second two victims be concurrent.
Judge O’Callaghan backdated the three year jail term with the final year suspended to April 2019 when Mr Kratochvil was first brought into custody.