Kilkenny man given ‘very last chance’ after assault and criminal damage offences

The case was before Kilkenny Circuit Court

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett


Kilkenny Courthouse

Kilkenny Courthouse

A man who pleaded guilty to assault, criminal damage and two drugs charges has been handed down a three year sentence suspended for six years.

Dean Cooke, with an address at 5 Bolton Green, Callan was charged with a Section 3 assault causing harm and criminal damage at a property on Green Street in Callan on March 28 of last year.

He was also charged with Section 15 which relates to possession for sale or supply and Section 3 for possession under the Misuse of Drugs Act on the same date in the county of Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Circuit Court heard last week that on the date of the assault and criminal damage offences, the injured party had gone to bed just after midnight and was awoken at 5.20am by Mr Cooke banging on his door and shouting, “You know what he’s done”, which was a reference to the victim’s son.

The court heard the defendant had been in the company of the victim’s son during the course of the night and there was a dispute between the pair over a “perceived grievance”.

When the injured party went down to see who it was, a panel had been broken on the door which cost €100 to fix. Mr Cooke was standing at the bottom of the stairs and being “very aggressive”.

Mr Cooke delivered a “single punch” to the then 61-year-old victim who suffered a small cut over his left eye and bruising but was not hospitalised.

The victim’s daughter heard the commotion and when she looked down the stairs she saw Mr Cooke and her father at the bottom of the stairs with two friends of the defendant outside.

She shouted to them, “Are you going to stop him?” and one of them replied, “What can we do?” The victim then managed to close the door and rang the Gardaí on Mr Cooke who was said to be in a state of extreme intoxication.

When Gardaí went to arrest Mr Cooke after the incident they then found 8g of cannabis and 20g of cocaine in a “jacket pocket”.

He said the drugs were for his own consumption and the amount found would “do me for one month”. Gardaí also found a weighing scales which Mr Cooke said he needed to make sure he wasn’t getting “ripped off”.

The court heard he has a history of using and abusing intoxicants.

In an interview with Gardaí, he admitted he had not paid anything for the drugs and that he might not pay at all as he was “in debt up to my eyeballs”. Mr Cooke, 26, has 25 previous convictions.

The court heard he was now in paid employment in Kilkenny City and had “kept his nose clean”, defence counsel for Mr Cooke added.

His legal representative said her client was “not proud of his behaviour” on the night and had shown poor judgement.

Judge Patrick Meghen described it as a “serious matter” to enter somebody’s house and the circumstances of the assault took place at 5.20am when the victim was struck and he asked the defendant to leave but he refused.

He noted Mr Cooke’s 25 previous convictions and that a Probation Report before the court found him at a high risk of re-offending.

He sentenced him to two years for the assault matter and a further year for the Section 15 drugs offence.

Judge Meghen added that he would give Mr Cooke “one last chance” and suspended the three year sentence for six years. The defendant must also refrain from using drugs or alcohol.

“This is your very last chance,” Judge Meghen added.

The criminal damage matter and the Section 3 drugs offence were taken into consideration.