Attacking a man with
a beer bottle has resulted in a €12,000 compensation
bill and 10-month suspended sentence for a Clonmany
Twenty-year old James McEleney, Minaduff, Clonmany,
appeared before Judge Desmond Zaidan at Buncrana
District Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to
assaulting and causing harm to Stephen Devlin on
July 9th, 2006.
The court heard the assault happened after the
victim confronted the defendant in a local pub about
a previous incident.
McEleney, a construction worker, then hurled a beer
bottle at the victim who had to have five stitches
to a wound between his eyebrows, the court was told.
Judge Zaidan heard that alcohol was the "root cause"
of the defendant's aggression. His brother had taken
his own life two years previously and his father had
left the family when he was a young boy.
But the judge said it was a "particularly
disturbing" case. He said the only thing in the
defendant's favour was his guilty plea. He listened
to testimony by counsellor James Quinn of Meenagorey,
Buncrana. The judge said Mr. Quinn was "putting his
heart and soul" into helping the young man with his
addiction problems and that he seemed to be "turning
a corner" as a result.
The defendant originally offered the victim €8,000
in compensation but the judge said he would have to
come up with €12,000 as a "gesture of his remorse".
He ordered that the money be paid in two instalments
- €6,000 by July 5th, 2007, with the remainder to be
paid by March 10th, 2008. He suspended a 10-month
detention term for two years on a number of
conditions. He bound McEleney to keep the peace on
his own bond of €2,000 and ordered him to comply
with the Probation and Welfare Service including
attending AA and continuing counselling with Mr.
Quinn. He told Mr. Quinn that if the defendant
'stepped out of line' he must immediately report him
to the Gardai. He also imposed fines totalling €900.