Dublin man to be sentenced for assaulting Dale Creighton

Dale Creighton died on New Year's Day
Dale Creighton died on New Year's Day

A Dublin man will be sentenced next week for assaulting 20-year-old Dale Creighton, who died in hospital after he was attacked in Tallaght on New Year's day.

James O'Brien (22) of The Mill, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow pleaded guilty last June (8th) to the assault of Dale Creighton on New Year's Day on Saint Dominic's Road, Tallaght.

Seven other Dubliners in their 20s are also charged in connection with Mr Creighton's death.

Taking to the stand, Superintendent Peter Duff told Sean Gillane SC prosecuting that the deceased, who was from Tallaght, had been at a house party on New Years Eve 2014.

"He (Dale Creighton) was socialising," said Supt Duff.

The court heard that the accused had been at the Plaza nightclub and that he had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol.

Mr Gillane said: "Dale Creighton left (the party) and was intending to go to McDonalds, not far from the Plaza."

"He split from his friends - the intention of Mr Creighton was to return to the house party," he said.

"One of a larger group who attended at the Plaza was the victim of a robbery. The information spread to the wider group. Mr Creighton was making his way back when a number of individuals formed the opinion that he had some involvement in this," said Mr Gillane.

The court heard that individuals gave chase to Mr Creighton, caught up to him and that the deceased was assaulted by a number of people, not this accused, at 3.50am.

"Minutes after that, Mr Creighton was attempting to make off and a silver Volkswagen Passat arrived with a number of people including the accused," said Mr Gillane.

"He got out of the vehicle, approached Mr Creighton and set about assaulting him," he said.

Supt Duff said: "He (the accused) appears to punch and kick Mr Creighton."

The court heard that the deceased managed to get to his feet and made his way back onto the footbridge and that he was again assaulted.

"He was the subject of a number of punches and kicks," said Mr Gillane.

"At this point, members of the public made 999 calls and An Garda Siochana arrived.

"Gardai summoned an ambulance and Mr Creighton was taken to Tallaght Hospital," said Supt Duff.

CCTV capturing what gardai believe to be the accused, was shown in court today (Monday).

"The accused was arrested at 8.55pm on January 2nd," said Supt Duff.

When asked about injuries to his hand, he said he had an argument at home and that he had punched two holes in a wall.

In CCTV shown to the court, Supt Duff identified the accused: "He kicks and punches Mr Creighton."

The court heard that Mr Creighton had been crawling on his back throughout the assault. The deceased managed to get up on his feet and was once again assaulted by others not including the accused.

"Mr O'Brien has no previous convictions," said Supt Duff.

Counsel for the defence, Paul Greene expressed remorse on behalf of his client.

"This case involved a plea of guilty," he said.

"Mr O'Brien was present at the scene for less than a minute. I wish to express, on my clients behalf, his apology and remorse at the fact that Mr Creighton sadly didn't survive the night," he continued. 

"Whilst this man was highly intoxicated on the night, he does not have alcohol dependency," he concluded. 

Miss Justice Isobel Kennedy said she would impose a sentence next Monday and remanded O'Brien on continuing bail.

Anne Sharkey