A PENSIONER who was assaulted by a kickboxer for €3 is still scared to walk the streets of his home town.
Eamon Horan (76), a retired sports journalist with The Kerryman and Irish Press, said he was lucky to be alive but it was no thanks to the "thug" who assaulted him.
His attacker, David Garbanowski (18), of Shanakill Court, Tralee, was jailed for three years for the assault described in court by Judge Carroll Moran as one of the worst in his 16 years on the bench.
Garbanowski, who was 16 at the time, pleaded guilty to assaulting and robbing the then 75-year-old (above) as he walked home from his local pub in the early hours of July 28, 2011.
Garbanowski, who is originally from Poland and has participated in kickboxing exhibition matches, pushed Mr Horan against a wall and punched him five or six times, breaking his jaw in two places, fracturing his nose and leaving him with other head, chest and facial injuries.
"Three guys were on me before I could even see them in the dark," Mr Horan said.
"I can remember when they were hitting me, thinking, 'Is this really happening?'
"They were saying, 'Give us money' and I was on the ground and they were belting me around and I said I had no money."
The beating was interrupted by passing taxi driver, Pat Hurley, who noticed the fracas and stopped his cab.
At that point Garbanowski and his unknown accomplices made their escape.
Mr Hurley brought Mr Horan to Tralee Garda Station from where he was taken to Kerry General Hospital but later referred to Cork University Hospital for specialist treatment.
In a victim impact statement read out at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, he publicly thanked "good Samaritan" Mr Hurley for saving his life.