herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Gym owner who crippled car clamper awaits his fate

A GYM owner who attacked a clamper with a lump hammer -- leaving the victim with permanent brain damage -- will be sentenced in October.

Gerard Sweeney (25), of Mount Talbot, Clondalkin, has admitted being involved in the savage assault which occurred in Dublin's south inner city in November, 2009.

Sweeney pleaded guilty at a recent circuit court sitting to charges of assault causing serious harm and production of an article capable of causing serious injury.

The victim -- Romanian national George Pista -- was left fighting for his life after the assault and is now permanently brain damaged and cannot speak.

Sources say that he spent months being treated at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire after the assault and will never recovery from his injuries. It is understood that he is now being cared for by his sister.

Mr Pista, who is in his late 30s, was placing a clamp on a car at a car park on Werburgh Street, Christchurch, on the night of November 14, 2009, when he was attacked by Sweeney.

It is understood the car was owned by a female associate of Sweeney and when he saw Mr Pista put it on the car, he demanded it be removed.

When Mr Pista informed him that he could not do so, the suspect took a hammer from the car and hit the clamper on the head.

Mr Pista spent seven weeks being treated at Beaumont Hospital before being transferred to the rehabilitation unit in Dun Laoghaire.

Arrested

Mr Pista worked with National Controlled Parking Systems (NCPS), which is responsible for monitoring the small Werburgh Street car park. The street links Christchurch to Bride Street.

Detectives from Pearse Street Garda Station launched a major investigation following the attack and arrested Sweeney just weeks after Mr Pista was assaulted.

Sweeney will be sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on October 28.

hnews@herald.ie

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