01 Oct 2022

Kilkenny unprovoked assault was a ‘cowardly and mean offence’ - Judge says


Gardaí traced some of what happened through CCTV coverage

A man who assaulted two people in an ‘inexcusable’ event that should never have happened has been handed down a suspended prison sentence.

Kilkenny Circuit Court heard that Jason Delaney, 46 Lord Edward Street, pleaded guilty to the two charges of assault causing harm.

Sergeant Paul Colman told the court the incident occurred in the early hours of February 18, 2017, on Mary’s Lane in Kilkenny City.
It was close to closing time and at the rear of Lanigan’s pub. Sgt Colman met both the injured parties, a man and a woman, at the scene. The man identified Mr Delaney but the woman, due to the nature of the assault, remembered nothing from when she left the pub until she woke up to the gardaí at the scene. Both were taken to St Luke’s General Hospital.

Gardaí traced some of what happened through CCTV coverage of Mary’s Lane. CCTV at the back of Lanigan’s showed the assault and CCTV at Syd Harkin’s showed Mr Delaney going down the steps to RoseInn Street.

Drops, unconscious
Shauna Evans was seen on CCTV. Mr Delaney punched her in the face and she ‘drops, unconscious before she hits the ground,’ the sergeant said.
She came out the rear door of the pub, followed by Mr Delaney and Craig Nolan, the other injured party. Mr Delaney is seen taking a step to the side and then throwing one punch, then going in the direction of Syd Harkin’s.

The altercation with Mr Nolan seemed to have occurred at the exit door which was not covered by CCTV, the sergeant said.

Mr Nolan had informed Sgt Colman that he was satisfied with Ms Evans’ victim impact statement and did not make a separate one.
Her statement was read in court by Sgt Colman. She said an injury to her foot had not healed right and caused her to sway to one side when she walked.
She also had pain in her knee caps from damaged ligaments.
The attack gave her mental health a major setback, she wrote. Her injuries had left her face unrecognisable to her two small children, this was very hard for her. For a time her mother had to mind her children which put more stress on her family.

Since the attack she fears for her life and her family’s lives. She said it was a completely unprovoked attack by a man on a woman. The physical injuries were bad enough but the psychological injuries continued. “I don’t know if I will ever stop worrying if I will be attacked again.”

Sgt Colman said Mr Nolan suffered a head injury. He was bleeding but did not require stitches.
When arrested, Mr Delaney made no comment to questions. There were 18 previous convictions against him, including three for assault.

Ms Jane McCudden, defending, said a medical report showed Ms Evans didn’t attend for follow up appointments and her physical injuries improved with time. Sgt Colman said Ms Evans suffers from anxiety still.
Ms McCudden said her client was intoxicated and had been asked to leave the pub because of this.
Mr Delaney lives close to the injured parties and in the five years since this incident there has been no suggestion of a repeated incident.

When he was younger Mr Delaney had a substance abuse problem, the barrister said.
The assaults were ‘inexcusable’ and ‘should never have happened’ Ms McCudden acknowledged. They were an ‘unprovoked attack on two unsuspecting people’.
Mr Delaney was sorry for his actions and understood his behaviour was completely unacceptable.

Different Man
He is very different to the man he was in 2017, the barrister added. His previous convictions were committed when he was abusing intoxicants. He now has a partner and two young children. He is the carer for his partner who has health issues.
Ms McCudden appealed to the judge to impose a non-custodial sentence.

Judge Cormac Quinn described the assault as ‘a cowardly and mean offence, punching a lady in the face’.
“Mr Delaney let himself down quite badly,” he said.
He said he was taking into account a Probation Report that set out that Mr Delaney had undertaken alcohol awareness and anger management courses, and letters of support handed in.

For assaulting Mr Nolan a sentence of three months imprisonment was imposed. A sentence of five months imprisonment was imposed for assaulting Ms Evans.
Both sentences were suspended in full in view of the amount of time that has passed, the positive Probation Report, Mr Delaney’s rehabilitation and his family circumstances.
He was ordered to enter a bond to keep the peace for 12 months adn to be under the supervision of the Probation Service for 12 months.

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