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Thursday 8 December 2016

Boxer jailed for brutal assault in row over tyres

courts

Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court

a talented Dublin boxer who won gold for Ireland at EU level has been sentenced to two years in prison for a "prolonged and vicious" attack on a tyre fitter.

A court heard that Thomas Finnegan (26) "thought he was in the ring" when he rained punches at Mantis Viknius' face after a row over a tyre.

Finnegan, of Bawnlea Drive, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Cookstown Industrial Estate in Tallaght on May 15, 2013.

The victim was left with a fractured eye socket, a broken nose, nerve damage and diminished memory.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Martin Nolan said Mr Viknius was seriously injured during the "grossly reprehensible" and "prolonged and vicious" assault.

Judge Nolan said that Finnegan was a "strong man, who had skills, but applied them in a very destructive way".

The judge acknowledged several "impressive letters" from Finnegan's sporting mentors and said the boxer had won many championships.

Finnegan had been stabbed during an earlier assault, forcing him to quit his promising boxing career.

remorse

The father of four brought €3,800 to court as a token of his remorse.

His solicitor said that her client had disgracefully left his discipline during the attack and "thought he was in the ring".

Finnegan has 23 previous convictions, including criminal damage, public order, drugs and road traffic offences.

Gda Paul McLoughlin told the prosecution that the incident took place at a garage after the victim replaced two bald tyres for a customer.

The customer paid for the tyres and left, but returned some time later as one of his tyres had shredded.

When the man returned, Finnegan was with him in the passenger seat.

Mr Viknius said it would cost €10 to replace the damaged tyre, but Finnegan disagreed and a row broke out.

The victim told gardai that Finnegan started punching him in the face.

A medical report confirmed that Mr Viknius had a steel plate inserted permanently into his right eyebrow.

Mr Viknius said his memory has diminished and that the attack "messed up his life" emotionally and physically.

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