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Attack on soldier and wife 'worse than the Troubles'

A COUPLE with six children have avoided a jail term for taking part in a vicious and unprovoked assault on an army sergeant and his wife.

Wesley Condon (34) of Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin admitted assault causing harm to Christopher Mahon and his wife Rose at Ballyfermot Road on May 1, 2010.

His partner, Michelle Kelly (38) of Blackditch Road, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Rose Mahon.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the victims, who are in their fifties, were on their way home from a night out when they were set upon and kicked and punched as they lay on the ground.

Mr Mahon, who has served in the Irish Defence Forces for 31 years, read an emotionally charged victim impact statement saying he had never witnessed such an attack before, despite serving during the Troubles and in Lebanon.

Garda John Griffin told the court that the couple were on their way home from a night out at around 2am when they heard Kelly, Condon and a third man, shouting abuse and gesturing at them from across the road.

Mr Mahon approached them and asked them why they were saying things about his wife.

He told Gardai that the next thing he knew he was on the ground and receiving "kicks and digs" in the head and ribs.

He looked across to his wife and saw that she was on the ground and that Michelle Kelly was kicking her in the face. He then saw Condon kicking his wife and punching her.

In his victim impact statement, he said that attack had left him and his wife "scarred".

Watching his wife being punched and kicked with "so much ferocity" while he lay on the ground unable to get to her will haunt him for the rest of his life, Mr Mahon said.

They couple received a three-year suspended sentence.

hnews@herald.ie