herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

Motorist beat elderly pedestrian to ground and kicked him in head

A motorist got out of his car and punched an elderly pedestrian to the ground, then kicked him in the head, leaving him with a serious eye injury in a case of
A motorist got out of his car and punched an elderly pedestrian to the ground, then kicked him in the head, leaving him with a serious eye injury in a case of "road rage gone mad". Stock image

A motorist got out of his car and punched an elderly pedestrian to the ground, then kicked him in the head, leaving him with a serious eye injury in a case of "road rage gone mad".

Robert Connolly (28) carried out the "vicious and sustained" attack after the victim took his car keys as they had an argument in the middle of a main road in north Dublin.

Judge John Brennan sentenced him to three months in prison for the assault, which was witnessed by an off-duty garda.

Connolly admitted assaulting Philip Aston at the Swords Road in Santry on January 21, 2015.

However, he disputed parts of the victim's version of events, including an allegation that he punched him in the face.

Dublin District Court heard when Garda Gavin Moran spoke to the victim at the scene, Mr Aston's right eye was fully closed and badly swollen. He had cuts and grazes to his face.

Blaring

Mr Aston said he had been crossing the road from his house and stopped half way to give way to traffic coming from the left.

Connolly, of Coultry Road, Ballymun, was "blaring" the car horn and stopped two feet away when he started to shout.

An altercation ensued and Mr Aston removed the keys from the ignition and walked away.

He said Connolly ran after him, "attacked him from behind" and hit him again around the head, knocking him to the ground, where he "landed face first".

He said the accused kicked him, including in the head.

He said Connolly "laid into him with his fists" while he was lying flat on his back and trying to get up

The accused admitted punching Mr Aston but said it was as he attempted to get away with his keys.

Mr Aston tripped and fell, he said. He denied deliberately kicking him and said Mr Aston caught hold of his ankles.

"He suffered a very serious injury to his eye, he is lucky he didn't lose his sight," a state solicitor said.

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