Man jailed for drunken assault on ill friend
A 33-year-old man has been jailed for a year for assaulting his ill friend, causing him harm, in an incident in which a third man murdered a fourth.
Dzintars Sacklausks had assaulted fellow Latvian Aigar Sildars during a drinking party involving the four men in Graigowen, Tullow, Co Carlow.
Sacklausks, of Barrowvale, Graiguecullen in Carlow, had pleaded not guilty to both the assault charge and to murdering Gints Intembergs on the morning of September 16th, 2014.
He went on trial at the Central Criminal Court in October but the murder charge was dropped two weeks into the trial and he changed his plea to guilty on the assault charge.
His co-accused was found guilty of murdering Mr Intembergs. Liam Power, of no fixed abode but originally from Wexford, was then sentenced to life in prison.
Sacklausks was back before the court today for sentencing.
The court heard that Mr Sildars was drunk and injured when gardai arrived at the scene that morning. He had no memory of how he’d received the injuries, which amounted to facial bruising.
However, Sacklausks was arrested and eventually admitted assaulting him. A spot of his victim’s blood was also found on his shoe.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy was informed yesterday that Mr Sildars had declined to make a victim impact statement. His barrister, Keith Spencer BL, explained that he had instead penned a letter to her, saying that he had forgiven his friend.
The letter, which was translated in court, also said that he bore the accused no ill will.
“I understand that Dzintars didn’t do that on purpose,” he wrote. “We have talked about it a lot.
He has said he regrets what happened. I have forgiven him. I wouldn't refer to Dzintars as a bad person.”
The court heard that Mr Sildars had an illness, which meant he had reduced mobility in his limbs and was sometimes confined to a wheelchair.
He mentioned his problems moving and wrote that the accused had helped him get to the shops and other places.
Justice Kennedy refused an application to adjourn sentencing for preparation of a probation report.
She described as an aggravating factor the fact that the attack was on a vulnerable man and said the appropriate notional sentence would be three years.
However, she said the mitigating factors included his expressions of regret, the letter from the injured party and the assistance the accused had given him.
She noted that he had spent eight months in custody and had done well in prison.
She therefore reduced the sentence to two years and suspended the final 12 months, with an order that he be given credit for time spent in custody.