Victim ‘stamped on and punched’ in unprovoked attack in Kilkenny City

Ruling: Man sentenced to four years in prison with two suspended

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Courthouse

Kilkenny Courthouse

A man who stamped on, punched and threw a deck chair at another man in an “unprovoked and violent” attack has been sentenced to four years in prison with two years suspended.

Nicky Campion, with an address at Newpark Close, Kilkenny pleaded guilty to the Section 3 assault causing harm and Section 15 violent disorder for an incident on February 2 of last year.

Kilkenny Circuit Court last week heard that on the date in question, the victim and his colleague had attended a ball.

The victim’s colleague left the ball and went home at around 2.30am. On his way home, the colleague lost his coat in the Kieran Street area of Kilkenny City. When the injured party returned to the property at 3.30am both he and his friend decided to go and look for the coat.

The same night there was a large queue for tickets on Kieran Street to an upcoming concert. The defendant, Mr Campion, was part of that queue and was up near the top of it.

The victim and his friend, in the process of looking for the jacket, “lifted up a sleeping bag they mistook for a coat”.

With that Mr Campion punched the victim into the face and continued to punch him until the parties were separated.

The incident lasted for between five and six minutes. Giving evidence, an investigating officer in the case told the court that at various stages, Mr Campion punched in the face and kicked the victim a number of times while the injured party was on the ground.

The court heard Mr Campion was very intoxicated on the night and kicked the door of the patrol car from inside after his arrest and was complaining of an injury to his leg.

CCTV footage played in court showed the melee on the night with Mr Campion seen giving and attempting to give the victim a number of kicks on the ground as well as “stamping and throwing punches”.

The defendant suffered an injury to his leg during the incident, the court heard. Mr Campion was seen “picking up a deck chair and trying to hit the injured party”.

Photos of the victim’s injuries were handed into court and he also approached the bench to show Judge Patrick Meghen the scarring he received as a result of the attack.

The injured party suffered injuries to the face, head, bleeding from the nose, while both eyes were bloodshot and bruised.

A victim impact statement from the man said he suffered numerous blows to the head, was “sore for a couple of weeks” after the assault and “still has a couple of scars from it”.

Mr Campion is 23-years-old and has 74 previous convictions.

A defence barrister for Mr Campion said his client would argue that he was “provoked and lost control”. The court heard Mr Campion had been drinking all day and taking other substances.

His barrister said: “(Mr Campion) was on his way home and met friends queuing and he sat down with them and drank vodka.

He felt provoked after he was accused of robbing the jacket.” Mr Campion has stability in his life with his daughter due to be born in the coming months.

He has been sober four months and is training to be a listener for other prisoners.

Judge Meghen asked the investigating officer if the injured party was an innocent victim in the case and the Garda said that he was and there was “no provocation”.

Mr Campion was also on bail at the time of the incident for another offence.

Judge Meghen described the incident as an “unprovoked” and sustained “violent” assault. He said the victim was “kicked on several occasions, stamped on the ground, hit from behind and had a deck chair thrown at him”.

Judge Meghen sentenced Mr Campion to four years in prison and suspended two years of the sentence subject to conditions.

For the violent disorder offence, Mr Campion also received a four year sentence with two years suspended to be served concurrent to the custodial sentence for assault. He backdated the sentences to March 2 of this year.