Man thought he was going to die during violent attack

By Declan Brennan

A young man who took part in a violent assault that left the victim unconscious has been jailed for three years.

Derek Whelan (22) was one of three males who attacked David Gaynor at the Neilstown shopping centre in Clondalkin. After Gaynor was knocked to the ground, his attackers continued to beat and kick him.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016At one stage, one of the attackers used a golf club to deliver blows to the victim, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that most of the kicks were directed towards Gaynor's face and that he thought he was going to die during the beating and lost consciousness.

One cheek bone and one eye socket were broken by the blows and he needed stitches to treat cuts to his mouth.

Whelan of Moorefield Avenue, Clondalkin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm on November 30, 2015. At the time of the offence he was serving a suspended sentence for a theft offence imposed in May 2015. He has no previous convictions for violent offending.

Judge Greally suspended the last 18 months of a four-and-a-half year prison term on condition that Whelan take part in anger management and victim awareness programmes under the Probation Services.

She noted that Whelan was abusing cocaine at the time but is now in a stable relationship and that his partner is due to give birth to their first child.

Whelan made an offer of compensation to the victim but this was declined, the court heard.

Judge Greally also noted that Whelan had expressed remorse and had taken steps to deal with his addiction issues.

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