JUDGE Colm Roberts described the behaviour of a Leap man as that of a ‘thug’ following his conviction for assault.
On Sunday August 16th, 2020, Roy Deane (32) with an address at Ballyriree, Leap, had entered the Harbour Bar in the village, through the rear entrance, which is not opened to the public and then assaulted a member of staff, smashing their mobile phone in the process.
Deane had been barred from the bar at an earlier date for what his solicitor, Colette McCarthy, described as a disagreement with the previous owner concerning the payment for a drink which her client claimed he never received.
The court heard that Deane had been asked to leave the bar as he was still barred on August 16th but he returned and went in through the back door.
There followed an altercation in which the injured party was punched with a closed fist and when the man tried to get out his phone to call for assistance, Deane slapped it out of his hand and damaged it, an act, according to the victim impact statement which had a ‘quite serious’ effect on the injured party, Judge Roberts said. Deane had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm, criminal damage, and ‘technical burglary’ by entering the premises.
Colette McCarthy told the court that her client was ‘not a habitual offender’, that he had no previous convictions and Sgt Paul Kelly confirmed that Deane had not come to the attention of gardaí since the incident on August 16th.
‘He was not making as clear a judgement as he should have,’ Ms McCarthy told the court.
And she said that Deane was surprised he was still barred, adding that he had taken steps to put things right, including paying compensation.
Judge Roberts said that Deane should have known that he was still barred.
‘He should have suspected that there was some possibility,’ Judge Roberts said.
‘If you are barred from a place you would certainly go into a place with a certain amount of trepidation.’
Ms McCarthy told the court that Deane was a quiet man who had himself been assaulted on another occasion and that he had not taken a drink since the incident.
Judge Roberts said that Roy Deane’s behaviour was that of a ‘thug’ and recommended that he seek help to address his behaviour.
‘He needs to do something about it because his default response was not a good response,’ Judge Roberts said.
Convicting Roy Deane, Judge Roberts said that only for the fact that he had no previous convictions, and other circumstances, he would send him to prison.
Roy Deane was given a suspended sentence of five months for the assault and a similar sentence for the burglary offence.He was also fined €350 for the criminal damage to the victim’s phone.