herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Senior civil servant's son jailed for 'blood on walls' hotel attack

Sean O’Dea has been jailed
Sean O’Dea has been jailed

The son of a senior civil servant who violently assaulted two men after his ex-girlfriend claimed she had been raped has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

The hotel suite where Sean O'Dea (28) attacked the two men looked like a "bomb had hit it", with blood on the walls and ceilings, Garda Niall Murray told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

O'Dea, of Woodside, Clontarf, Dublin, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm to the two victims at the Radisson Hotel in Dublin city centre on September 21, 2013.

He is the son of the former chief executive of the family support agency, the court heard.

Judge Melanie Greally said crimes committed in retribution for perceived criminal acts do not belong in a special category. She said O'Dea's actions demonstrated "an intolerable disregard for the law".

She said it was noteworthy that the Director of Public Prosecutions had ultimately not prosecuted the men accused of the rape.

Judge Greally noted O'Dea had since lost the certificate to operate his security business but that testimonials handed into court spoke well of him. She imposed concurrent sentences totalling three-and-a-half years.

The night before the attack took place, O'Dea's ex-partner was socialising with a group of people, including the two victims, the court heard.

The group booked a suite in the hotel to continue partying and the next morning O'Dea's ex-partner alleged one of the men had raped her. Later that morning, O'Dea and his ex-partner went to the suite, where O'Dea hit one of the men over the head up to six times with a wheel brace.

He then smashed a number of glasses, cut the man accused of rape around the face and chin with the stem of a wine glass and punched him several times.

Gda Murray told the court that, during the attack, O'Dea said: "Do you know who I am? I'm going to come back with a gun and shoot you."

Anxiety

Hotel staff called the gardai, who pulled O'Dea over in his car shortly after the attack. There was blood inside the car, including on the steering wheel, the court heard.

His victims were taken to hospital for treatment for several lacerations to their heads. In victim impact statements submitted to court, the men said they suffered from anxiety and depression in the wake of the attack.

O'Dea's glassing victim said he feared for his life during the attack. The court heard the man was interviewed by gardai in relation to the rape allegation and a file was sent to the DPP. No charges were made.

Defence barrister, Padraig Dwyer SC, told the court O'Dea deeply regretted the attack.

He said his client, who ran a security services business, had offered to pay €5,000 to each of his victims as an expression of remorse, but this was declined. The money would be given to the state or a charity instead, Mr Dwyer said.

O'Dea, who has 27 previous convictions, mainly relating to road traffic offences, has never been in prison before and was a "positive individual", his barrister said. His family was in court to support him.

"His life has been significantly upturned by two to three minutes of madness which was preceded by this particular allegation being made," Mr Dwyer said.

"It was an offence committed in a moment of rage and one he will forever regret."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News