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27/09/2021

Man bears no ill-will to brother who beat him unconscious with hurling stick, court hears

Derry courthouse
The Crown Court in Derry was told today that a man who was repeatedly beaten about the face with a hurling stick as he lay on the ground outside his family home, has forgiven his attacker, who is his brother. At a plea and sentence hearing for Eoin Collins (20), of Barr's Lane, defence barrister Ciaran Mallon Q.C. told Judge Philip Babington that the defendant's brother was totally forgiving of the defendant who carried out the attack following a three day drinking binge. THe court heard the incident took place at midnight on 28 March 28 last year both inside and outside the family home. Neighbours reported the ongoing disturbance to the police who were informed that the 20 years old defendant had used a hurling stick to inflict several facial injuries on his brother. A member of the public put pillows under the heavily bleeding head of the victim, Conor Collins, and when paramedics arrived at the scene they found him to be in an unresponsive state. Police officers saw the defendant at the scene. He was unsteady on his feet and there was quite a lot of blood on his face. A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told Judge Babington that the defendant also had a tin can in his hand when approached by the police. "He suddenly became aggressive towards the police and assaulted them by kicking one on the leg, by headbutting a second officer and by spitting a considerable amount of blood onto the face of a female officer which caused her some considerable distress", the prosecutor said. He said when the police entered the family home it was in a state of disarray with blood marks found in several areas of the kitchen. "The defendant was brought to hospital by the police and on the way there he constantly spat blood on the floor of the police vehicle. He had sustained a serious looking injury to his lower lip. In the hospital he continued to threaten violence against the police and the medical staff had to restrain him", the prosecutor added. A pre-sentence report stated that the defendant had 38 previous criminal convictions, several of them for assaults, and that he had been assessed as presenting a high risk of re-offending. Defence barrister Mr. Mallon said the injured party did not wish to make a statement of complaint against his own brother adding, fortunately, the injuries sustained by the victim were "at the lower end of the scale." "The injured party wants the court to know that his sentiment for his brother is one of brotherly love. He bears his brother absolutely no ill-will and that he, along with other members of the family, visited the defendant during his seven months in remand for the offences. Mr Mallon added the incident did not "fracture" the family and the defendant's siblings have been supportive of him. Mr Mallon added: "It is now a united family whose members are keen to put this incident behind them." Remanding Collin in continuing custody, Judge Babington said he would sentence Collins on 4 March.

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