Dublin man who 'brought knuckle duster' to savage beating of young man gets jail term cut

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A man believed to have brought a knuckle duster and hurley to the beating of a young man in Ballymun has had his jail term cut on appeal.

Glen Kiely (29), of Balcurris Park West, Ballymun, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun on November 27, 2013.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison with the final 12 months suspended by Judge Patricia Ryan on October 19, 2015.

Kiely successfully appealed his sentence today, and the Court of Appeal accordingly increased the suspended period of his sentence by 12 months.

Giving judgment in the three-judge court, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said that on the occasion in question a young man was attacked by three men including Kiely who was believed to be carrying a knuckle duster and hurley which was thrown at the injured party.

The injured party, who later refused to make a complaint to gardai, received a "severe beating", Mr Justice Sheehan said.

There was evidence before the sentencing court that Kiely had made huge efforts to overcome his addiction. He had secured a work placement at the Dogs Trust and had completed a drugs detoxification programme.

His barrister, Luigi Rae BL, submitted that the sentencing judge failed to have any regard to the successful progress Kiely had made as well as his efforts to seek employment and accommodation for his partner and children.

Mr Rae relied on a number of cases, including 'Jennings', in which it was held that a time comes in sentencing when a court detects it could be make or break time for an offender.

Mr Justice Sheehan said Kiely had 47 previous convictions and appeared to have made significant progress by the time he came to be sentenced. It may have been both in the interests of society and crime reduction for him to be trusted, the judge said.

On the other hand, he said, it was open to the judge to impose the sentence that was imposed and the court did not find an error in this regard.

However, the Court of Appeal was unable to identify the sentencing judge's starting point and where on the scale she located the offence. It was not appropriate to have to speculate on what headline sentence the judge had in mind, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

Accordingly, the court found an error in the judge's approach and also held that insufficient credit was given for what both parties agreed was significant mitigation.

Kiely continued to make progress, has employment available on release and was in a position where he wanted to assume a proper and responsible role as father to his children.

Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court would increase the suspended period of the sentence by 12 months.

This means Kiely must be of good behaviour for two years post-release and if he is not, he will be returned to prison for two years, the judge said.

Kiely was required to enter into a good behaviour bond for the suspended period and he undertook to be so bound.

Ruaidhrí Giblin