'Fat' Freddie Thompson's brother-in-law jailed for pet shop attack

Jailed: Karl Dempsey (Independent)
Jailed: Karl Dempsey (Independent)

A Dublin businessman has been jailed for 20 months for his role in a pet shop attack which left a man with a broken nose and a set of keys lodged in his thumb.

The court heard that the victim, Mark Eagers, beat Karl Dempsey (36) to a parking space outside a pet shop and the two engaged in a violent scuffle.

Dempsey, a brother-in-law of convicted gangster 'Fat Freddie' Thompson, was joined by third parties and the attack started up again inside the pet shop.

Dempsey, of Stannaway Road, Crumlin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at Purrfect Pets, Longmile Road, on February 05, 2011.

He has three previous convictions, including a seven year sentence for an IR£200,000 drugs offence committed in 1998.

Garda Darren Coller told Anne-Marie Lawlor BL, prosecuting, that Mr Eagers had set out in his van with his girlfriend to buy cat food at the pet store.

On parking his van he heard beeping from a Smart car driven by Dempsey, who accused him of taking his space.

Garda Coller said Dempsey drove off when Mr Eagers told him to “go home in his mother’s car” but returned on foot to confront the victim.

Mr Eagers got away for a few minutes and rang gardaí, who advised him to wait inside the pet shop until their arrival.

Garda Coller said the shop’s CCTV showed Dempsey punch Mr Eagers in the back of his head when he entered the store with his girlfriend.

The CCTV also showed the victim being kicked and stamped on the head as Dempsey and others attacked him.

Mr Eagers later described how he blacked out during the attack and woke up bleeding, with a broken nose and keys lodged in his thumb.

Garda Coller said he spotted Dempsey’s Smart car coming towards him as he approached the pet shop.

He arrested Dempsey, who had blood on his hands and wounds to his head.

Gda Coller accepted when Luigi Rea BL, defending, put it to him that his client claimed he had suffered the wounds as a result of stabbing from keys.

He agreed that Dempsey had overcome his drug problems, is now owner of a garage servicing two taxi fleets and is heavily involved in charity work.

Mr Rea submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that his client has a good work history and hoped to marry his fiancée soon.

Counsel described the incident as a “road rage situation that got totally out of control” and said his client had €5,000 in court as an expression of remorse.

Judge Nolan said he could have acceded “in good conscience” to a non custodial sentence had the incident stopped outside the pet shop. He imposed the jail sentence and made no order on the compensation.