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Brutal assault Man who 'stomped' four times on OAP's skull during 14 minute attack, is jailed

The assault left the pensioner in a critical condition in Cork University Hospital (CUH) - and, when he recovered, he was no longer capable of independent living.

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Victim Christy O'Callaghan was left critically ill after being attacked

Victim Christy O'Callaghan was left critically ill after being attacked

Victim Christy O'Callaghan was left critically ill after being attacked

A MAN who subjected a pensioner to an horrific unprovoked 14-minute attack including stamping on his head while he was lying unconscious on the ground has been jailed for 13 years.


Jonathan O'Driscoll (31) was sentenced as Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that just weeks before he committed the savage assault he had been taken to hospital after suffering a psychotic incident - and was discharged just four days late despite pleading to be kept in treatment as he feared he might hurt himself or someone else.

Judge Sean O'Donnabháin jailed O'Driscoll for 15 years, suspending the final two years of the term, for assault causing serious harm to Christopher 'Christy' O'Callaghan (73) in Macroom, Co Cork on March 21 2019.

The assault left the pensioner in a critical condition in Cork University Hospital (CUH) - and, when he recovered, he was no longer capable of independent living.

Mr O'Callaghan is well known in the world of greyhound racing as he trained a number of winners of the Irish Laurels in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

O’Driscoll formerly of Coolcower House, Macroom pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Christy O’Callaghan at Sleaveen East, Macroom.

The court heard that the attack lasted for almost 14 minutes.

Det Garda Alan O ’Sullivan said Mr O’Callaghan was sitting in his parked car shortly before midnight when O’Driscoll suddenly dragged him from his vehicle and started stamping on his head.

CCTV security camera footage displayed how O’Driscoll dragged the pensioner from the car and threw him around like a “rag doll.”

The attack was entirely unprovoked and no explanation for it was offered. O'Driscoll did not know Mr O'Callaghan.

Shocked members of the public raised the alarm and when Gardaí arrived at the scene they found O’Driscoll cradling Mr O’Callaghan.

Det Garda O’Sullivan said that O’Driscoll "stomped" four times on the pensioner's skull.

“He kicked him when he was in a lifeless position,” he said.

Mr O’Callaghan suffered serious injuries including a bilateral scalp laceration, fractures to his facial bones, extensive soft tissue damage, fracture of the ribs, a collapsed lung and subdural haematoma.

Det Garda O’Sullivan said that Mr O’Callaghan will “never be right again.”

He now requires the assistance of two nurses to walk and is frustrated at how his happy life was shattered.

In a moving victim impact statement, Mr O’Callaghan said that before the brutal assault he enjoyed an active, fulfilled life.

“I enjoyed working with greyhounds and attended the greyhound track twice a week. I had made a lot of good friends through the dogs. Since I was so badly assaulted my life has totally changed. I have been in hospital since and I have not been home," he said.

"Nobody will ever know half of what I suffered. Aside from the physical injuries and pain, the loneliness of lying here in my hospital bed is terrible altogether. Sometimes I wish I was dead."

"You (O’Driscoll) took away my basic human rights. I cannot go to the toilet on my own. I have to be taken by a nurse who is normally female, which to me is embarrassing and degrading. I do not think I will be left home unaccompanied again. This breaks my heart.”

Defence counsel Siobhan Lankford BL said her client was from a difficult background and suffered from both anxiety and depression.

Two weeks before the assault O’Driscoll suffered a psychotic incident and was admitted to a hospital.

But he was discharged after four days despite telling staff that he didn’t want to be released as he still felt too unwell.

Judge O’Donnabháin said that it was an “extraordinarily vicious and unprovoked assault.”

He pointed out that the life of the pensioner was now effectively a “living hell.”

Judge O’Donnabhain warned there was no excuse for the “sustained, deliberate and prolonged violence.”

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