Three-year sentence for man in connection with golf club assault

CourtsBy Sunday World
Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A young Dublin man has been jailed for three years for swinging a golf club into the chest of another male outside his home in the early hours after St Patrick's Day.

Paul Brannigan (24) was convicted by a jury earlier this month of assaulting Jason Saunders by head-butting him and striking him with a golf club. The victim died shortly after the attack and Brannigan was also charged with his manslaughter.

The jury also found him guilty of producing an article capable of inflicting serious injury in a fight. After a six day trial and almost five hours deliberation it failed to reach a verdict on the more serious charge of manslaughter.

Brannigan of Ratoath Drive, Finglas had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the two assault charges, the production of an article and the manslaughter of Mr Saunders at Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra West on March 18, 2014. He has nine previous convictions for road traffic matters.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Lynch told the court that CCTV footage showed Brannigan head-butting Mr Saunders. Later images showed Brannigan with a golf club in his hand.

He said a shop keeper during the trial had described seeing Brannigan swing a golf club violently at Mr Saunders. He said the post mortem evidence was that Mr Saunders had a fractured left rib.

Judge Patrick McCartan told the court that he was dealing solely with the charges to which the jury had returned convictions, but added that it would be “remiss” of him not to extend his “deepest sympathy to Mr Saunders' family for their untimely loss”.

He imposed a three year sentence for the golf club assault to run concurrently to two years for the head-butt.

By Aoife Nic Ardghail