A 20-YEAR-old man had his ‘whole life turned upside down’ after a violent attack by his so-called friends in Bandon on the night of his Leaving Cert results celebrations.
Det Gda Fintan Slater told Cork Circuit Criminal Court this week that at the height of the attack, the victim had his pants and underpants pulled down, and a glass bottle pressed between his buttocks.
His shoelaces were set on fire and he was afraid he would get sick and choke because of the manner in which he was being held on the ground, and the fact the perpetrators would not stop when repeatedly asked to do so. The detective said the bottle was held against his anus but did not penetrate it.
Ger O’Mahony of Castlelack, Bandon; Darragh Collins of Scrahane, Enniskeane; and Darragh O’Riordan of Loughneill, Crookstown, who were all 18 or 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm, to the same injured party, on September 7th, 2020. They each got an 18-month suspended sentence and brought €15,000 in compensation to court between them.
Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan described it as a ‘a horrible, stupid, idiotic, schoolboy prank that went way too far’. He said they are all genuinely remorseful. ‘Nobody wanted to harm anybody,’ he added.
Judge Helen Boyle said the saddest part of the incident was that the attack was carried out among a group of friends.
‘You might have thought it started as a prank, but it turned out to be anything but,’ Judge Boyle said. She said if a boy or a girl says ‘stop’ during such an incident it should stop immediately.
Reading from his impact statement, the victim said: ‘My day started full of excitement and joy as I awaited the results of my Leaving Cert. We decided to go back to the caravan where it was discussed about attending an after-party. I was sitting having a drink while they discussed their plans for the remainder of the night. What happened next turned my whole life inside out and upside down. I could not believe what they had done to me. I trusted them. These people were supposed to be my friends.
‘The impact on me and my family following that night can never be undone. Time cannot be turned back … I do not live the life that I should, being an independent 20-year-old. I have not been out socially since the night of the attack. I feel the last 12 months of my life have been stolen from me [and my family].’