herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Partygoer smashed cousin's teeth with a bottle

A MAN who smashed his cousin's teeth with a wine bottle after a New Year's Eve party, before he struck him a second time on the back of the head, has received a three-year sentence with 18 months suspended.

Robert Simpson (44) assaulted William O'Connell after an argument because his cousin had asked him to leave his home. Mr O'Connell was sleeping in an armchair when he woke up in shock with damaged teeth.

Simpson was standing in front of him with the wine bottle in his hand and when Mr O'Connell stood up, he was struck again on the back of his head. He later needed stitches to his upper and lower lips, the back of his head, had one tooth removed and was treated for severe fractures to two other teeth.

Simpson, who moved to Ireland from England with his family 20 years ago, is currently homeless and trying to deal with an alcohol and drug addiction.

He told Judge Katherine Delahunt that Mr O'Connell was both his cousin and childhood friend. "If I could turn back the clock I really would. I would never want to hurt anyone but especially someone in my family," he said.



Remorse

Simpson pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing Mr O'Connell harm on January 1, 2007 at the victim's home in Hillcross Square, Sandyford. He had one previous drink driving conviction.

Simpson told Martina Baxter, defending, that there had been an earlier argument between himself and Mr O'Connell but accepted that the attack had been "unprovoked".

He added that he had been drinking heavily and taking cannabis that night.

Judge Delahunt described it as a serious assault that had been aggravated by the fact that Simpson had used a weapon.

She accepted that his remorse was genuine and that there had been ongoing attempts to deal with his addiction.

hnews@herald.ie

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