Former amateur boxer jailed for unprovoked assault
A former amateur boxer has been jailed for an unprovoked assault which left a man unconscious and with a fractured skull.
Josh Butler (19) and a 13-year-old youth simultaneously punched Seamus Lagan in the face while Mr Lagan was fending off an attack from a third man in the doorway of a Londis shop.
The two punches resulted in the victim falling back and hitting his head off the ground outside the shop. Mr Lagan woke up in hospital the next morning and couldn't remember how he got there.
Butler of Hill View, Ballinteer, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault of Seamus Lagan causing him harm at Grafton Street, on September 19, 2014.
Judge Martin Nolan imposed a sentence of three and a half years. He suspended the final year because of Butler's co-operation with investigating gardaí and his early plea of guilty. The suspension is on condition he keeps the peace for the entire period of the sentence.
Judge Nolan said the attack was unprovoked and had a serious effect on the victim. He said Butler had a propensity for violence and noted his two previous convictions for assault were committed within months of this offence.
In December 2014 he was convicted and fined at Dun Laoghaire District Court for assault with attempt to cause bodily harm on August 12, 2014. On April 13 last he received a six month jail term for assault causing harm on June 14, 2014.
The court heard that Mr Lagan suffered fractures and bleeding on the brain. The attack left him fearful and anxious mixing in public and he also suffered from some short term memory loss.
Garda Niall Kenny told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that Mr Lagan had been out socialising with work colleagues earlier in the evening and was getting a cup of tea in the shop when he met Butler and seven other youths.
Damien Colgan SC, defending, said that his client had a misguided impression on the night that the victim was involved in a dispute with the 13-year-old and intervened.
CCTV footage from the shop showed Mr Lagan leaving the shop with his tea and being met at the door by eight youths. He is seen talking to these men and going to put his hand on the shoulder of an 18-year-old man.
This man moved and gestured to punch Mr Lagan but the victim stepped back and stood his ground. At this point the juvenile and Butler punched the victim.
The eight men then ran up Grafton street towards the St Stephen's Green Luas stop.
The court heard Butler came from a responsible family and was boxing competitively at underage level. Mr Colgan said he was a good footballer who played for Crumlin United.