Dublin torture gang thug back on streets HOURS after conviction for sick attack
We photographed Dubliner Craig Kelly outside his home in Walkinstown, Dublin, early on Saturday
A thug jailed for five months over a nightmare attack – in which a woman had a kettle of boiling water thrown on her – was released from prison just hours after being sentenced.
We photographed Dubliner Craig Kelly outside his home in Walkinstown, Dublin, early on Saturday – four days after he was sentenced for assaulting Lyndsey Byrne with a stick before co-accused Paul Clarke threw a kettle of boiling water on her.
Sickeningly, Kelly – who has 109 previous convictions for offences including road traffic matters, drug offences and robbery – declined to acknowledge his guilt when confronted by the Sunday World.
Asked to comment about the case, he responded: “It’s all lies … but it’s nothing to do with me, buddy … you’ve got the wrong fella.”
Despite Kelly’s denials, we can reveal he was released from prison on Tuesday evening – just hours after he was handed a five-month sentence by Judge Martin Nolan.
Kelly had already spent four and a half months in custody while awaiting trial – and because he automatically benefits from 25pc remission, his sentence had already expired on his return to custody.
Paul Clarke was considered the ‘main man’ in the brutal attack and was jailed for four years and three months.
Josh Conlon, who turned 18 on the day of the attack, and who boiled the kettle of water used by Clarke to scald Byrne, avoided a custodial sentence on account of his age.
The court heard the three men called to the apartment Lyndsey Byrne shared with her partner Emmet Black over the course of two days in November 2021.
Ms Byrne told gardai she was tortured by Paul Clarke (29) and thought she was going to die from the pain she endured after he poured a kettle and several cups of freshly boiled water over her during the two attacks.
Clarke was accompanied by Conlon (19) on the first day of the assault, and by Kelly (38) on the second day.
Clarke pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm to Lyndsey Byrne at the apartment she lived in at The Maltings, Watling Street, Dublin 8.
A second count of assault causing harm to Emmet Black was taken into consideration.
Conlon pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and Kelly pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of simple assault.
Garda Kerrie Sullivan said Clarke phoned Mr Black on the day in question, looking for a box of cannabis that Mr Black was supposed to be holding for him.
He then called to the couple’s apartment accompanied by Conlon and became angry when he learned Mr Black did not have the drugs.
Mr Black was ordered to come up with a sum of €7,000 to pay for the missing drugs.
He then left to try and get money from the Credit Union.
Clarke then ordered Ms Byrne to put her hands out on the table, before he repeatedly struck her with a broom handle – which she described as “agony”.
He told Conlon to boil a kettle of water and to add sugar to the kettle.
The sugar could not be found, but the kettle was boiled and the water was poured into a number of cups, which Clarke poured over Ms Byrne’s hands and arms.
Ms Byrne’s wrists were then bound with a phone charger, and a scarf was tied around her mouth before Clarke sat her down in the chair and hit her with the stick.
Some time later, Clarke phoned Mr Black and “flew into a rage” upon hearing he had not been able to get any money.
He ordered Mr Black to return to the apartment and Ms Byrne was taken into the bathroom and forced into the bath.
The court heard Mr Black was attacked upon his return to the apartment and Ms Byrne was ordered to clean up the blood and tend to his head wound.
The two men then left the apartment, with Clarke saying he would return the next day.
Around lunchtime on November 12, Clarke came back to the apartment accompanied by Kelly.
Another row ensued before Kelly hit Ms Byrne over the chest twice with a stick and Clarke poured a kettle of boiling water over her, hitting her shoulder and arms.
The court heard Ms Byrne was in “absolute agony” and her skin was blistering.
She said Clarke then told her: “You think that’s bad, wait until I skin you alive.”
The men left shortly afterwards and Ms Byrne, who had called 999 before they arrived, ran out of the apartment and was met by two gardai.
She was taken to hospital and treated for second-degree burns and a suspected collapsed lung.
In her victim impact statement, Ms Byrne said it was “the most traumatic and frightening thing to have ever happened to her” and it changed her life forever.
She “genuinely thought she was going to die from the pain”, the court heard.
witness claims | Housemate of garda killer Aaron Brady tells robbery trial he ‘felt under pressure from gardai’
'red line' | Cancer-faking fraudster given final warning to repay £2m or face more jail time
store wars | No jail for couple who threatened shop workers with hammer and racially abused them
Abi Days | ‘Only Fools and Horses’ star David Jason discovers 52-year-old daughter he didn’t know he had
pleaded guilty | All Ireland-winning hurler Pat Ryan convicted of perjury in garda traffic probe
Ryan rant | Anti-vaxxer Aisling O’Loughlin glad to see ‘shameful’ Ryan Tubridy leave Late Late Show
harrowing | Granddad of three siblings killed in Tallaght describes moment he identified bodies
'horror story' | First man convicted of coercive control in Ireland appeals 10 and a half year sentence
'insidious' | Dublin man jailed after sending explicit images to German boy (12) he met on online game
major discovery | High-powered firearms, ammo and €177k in drugs found buried in Finglas, North Dublin