herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dublin man (22) apologises as he awaits sentence over attack that led to death

Crime

The bridge in Tallaght, inset, Dale Creighton who died after being attacked on New Year's Day
The bridge in Tallaght, inset, Dale Creighton who died after being attacked on New Year's Day

A Dublin man will be sentenced next week for assaulting 20-year-old Dale Creighton, who died in hospital after he was attacked in Tallaght on New Year's Day.

James O'Brien (22), of The Mill, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty last June to the assault of Dale Creighton on New Year's Day on Saint Dominic's Road, Tallaght.

Seven other Dubliners in their 20s are also charged in connection with Mr Creighton's death.

Taking to the stand, Superintendent Peter Duff told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, that the deceased, who was from Tallaght, had been at a house party on New Year's Eve 2014.

The court heard that the accused had been at the Plaza nightclub and that he had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol.

"Dale Creighton left (the party) and was intending to go to McDonald's, not far from the Plaza," said Mr Gillane.

"He split from his friends - the intention of Mr Creighton was to return to the house party. One of a larger group who attended at the Plaza was the victim of a robbery.

"Mr Creighton was making his way back when a number of individuals formed the opinion that he had some involvement in this."

The court heard that individuals chased Mr Creighton, caught up to him, and that the deceased was assaulted by a number of people, not including the accused, at 3.50am.

"Minutes after that, Mr Creighton was attempting to make off and a silver Volkswagen Passat arrived with a number of people, including the accused," said Mr Gillane.

"He got out of the vehicle, approached Mr Creighton and set about assaulting him."

The court heard that the deceased managed to get to his feet and made his way back on to the footbridge and that he was again assaulted.

"He was the subject of a number of punches and kicks," said Mr Gillane.

CCTV capturing what Gardai believe to be the accused was shown in court yesterday.

"He (the accused) appears to punch and kick Mr Creighton," said Superintendent Duff.

Remorse

Counsel for the defence Paul Greene expressed remorse on behalf of his client.

"This case involved a plea of guilty," he said.

"Mr O'Brien was present at the scene for less than a minute. I wish to express, on my client's behalf, his apology and remorse at the fact that Mr Creighton sadly didn't survive the night."

Miss Justice Isobel Kennedy said she would impose a sentence next Monday and remanded O'Brien.

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