Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard at around 1am on 19 July 2019, Shane White was sitting outside Burger King on Grafton Street when he was attacked. He was approached by two men, one of whom was Daryl Cassells (27).
The court heard that Cassells, of no fixed abode, believed White had caused upset to his partner and began to punch Mr White in the head and kick him. Mr White was unable to defend himself as he was lying on the ground while Cassells repeatedly shouted abuse throughout the attack.
Garda Robert Mahony told Katherine McGillicuddy, BL, prosecuting, that an ambulance brought Mr White to St James Hospital. On route to the hospital, White suffered a seizure which lasted for thirty seconds.
The court heard that Mr White suffered a second seizure in St James Hospital. He was then incubated and sedated. A CT scan showed that Mr White had suffered a bleed to the brain, a fracture to the skull and a fractured eye socket. He also developed epilepsy due to the head injuries and was admitted to St James’s for eight days.
Gda Mahony obtained CCTV footage and was able to track the movements of Cassells on the night of the assault.
The court heard that when questioned, Cassells made a full and frank account of why he had carried out the assault and identified himself on CCTV footage. He said he had been on drugs at the time of the assault.
In a victim impact statement handed into court Mr White said he now feels paranoid to walk the streets on my own”, and due to the assault, he now suffers from epilepsy, which “has restricted my employment opportunities’.
The court heard Cassells' 78 previous convictions include convictions for theft, criminal damage, assault and public order offences.
Mr Karl Monaghan, BL, defending, told the court that his client had been fully cooperative with gardaí, and his guilty plea spared Mr White the ordeal of a trial. He said that his client had the perception that Mr White had been involved in an altercation with his partner.
Two letters of apology were handed into court from the accused, outlining his regret and remorse. The court heard that Cassells had been in and out of foster care from an early age and became homeless after turning eighteen.
Judge Pauline Codd said this was a serious unprovoked assault and the most significant aggravation factor was the significant medical issue and injuries obtained by Mr White.
The judge also noted that Cassells was on bail at the time of the assault and that his conduct was completely inexcusable. She also noted the mitigating factors, including his guilty plea, his difficult background and his efforts to rehabilitate while in custody.
Judge Codd sentenced Cassells to four years in prison but suspended the final six months under the condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for one year.
He must also cooperate with the probation services and follow all directions they deem fit for one year. This sentence will be back-dated for time already served.