| 7.2°C Dublin

Bank assault thug stays free as jail bid fails

THE DPP has failed in a bid to jail a man who savagely attacked another outside Dublin's Central Bank.

The prosecutor asked the Court of Criminal Appeal to take into account the concept of "general deterrent" which should apply to such offences in the the city centre.

But the appeal judges upheld a non-custodial sentence of 240 hours' community service against Mark Cummins, from St Teresa's Gardens, Rialto.

Cummins admitted his role in the assault, which saw his victim kicked unconscious at Central Bank Plaza.

However the appeal judges stressed that this was not an indication of the route it would follow in any future cases.

The court accepted that the victim from St Anthony's Road, Rialto, had been the victim of a brutal assault and had been kicked in the head with full force, causing a fracture of the skull. He had lost his sense of smell, had lost his career and his ability to take part in physical fitness activities.

The victim suffered cranial and facial injuries, and a depressed fracture of the frontal bone beneath his forehead.

At the original trial he told the court he underwent neuro-surgery and was hospitalised for five weeks after the "life-changing experience" which left titanium plates in his head.

He said his eye-socket and nasal passage had to be rebuilt, his cheekbone collapsed, his forehead is artificial, and he acquired secondary infections.

Cummins had walked into a garda station and admitted his guilt after a Crimewatch programme showed the incident, which took place in the early hours of April 16, 2006.





Lenient

The judge at the original trial -- Judge Desmond Hogan -- noted that a probation report showed Cummins had been making efforts to deal with his alcohol addiction. He said he felt it would be inappropriate to impose a custodial sentence because he thought that Cummins was "unlikely to reoffend".

The three appeal court judges said they saw the sentence as unduly lenient but there had been "unusual features" about the case.

hnews@herald.ie