Prison for father of two who punched 72-year-old after mass
By Fiona Ferguson
A father of two who punched a 72-year-old woman on her way home from Mass has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Andrew Smith (31) was one of three men who took part in the attack. The elderly woman, who suffered two black eyes and cuts to her face, was described as hysterical and bleeding profusely when she later arrived at a garda station.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard there had been a history of animosity between the families.
Smith of South Richmond Street, Dublin pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman causing her harm at Oranmore Road, Ballyfermot on March 7, 2015.
Judge Martin Nolan told Smith the attack would have been bad enough had it involved a man his own age, but said “to beat up an old lady coming home from Mass was deeply reprehensible.”
Judge Nolan said he was taking into account Smith’s good work history and the steps he had taken to reform himself including anger management training. He imposed a two-and-a-half year sentence.
Garda Padraig O’Mara told Eilis Brennan BL, prosecuting, that the woman was walking home at about 6.30pm with two ladies of similar age when Smith’s mother approached and began shouting abuse at her.
The woman said she would call gardaí if Smith’s mother hit her and the group walked on.
She then felt herself being pushed up against a wall and she was assaulted by three men. Smith was in the middle and punched her in the face. She was slapped by one of the other men.
The others in her group flagged down a car and she was brought to a garda station where she was treated by a doctor. Smith was arrested but chose not to answer questions.
In her victim impact statement the woman outlined that she has been attending counselling. She said she had been a strong independent woman but now felt nervous and unsure of herself.
Garda O’Mara agreed with Emmett Nolan BL, defending, that the parties were known to each other and there was a history of animosity.
Mr Nolan said Smith was deeply remorseful and wished to offer an unqualified apology to the woman. He said there was an element of Smith being “swept along”, but he had taken full responsibility for his actions.
He submitted that one of the men involved in the attack was under the misapprehension that Smith’s mother had been hit during the earlier verbal altercation. The court heard this had not occurred.
Counsel said Smith had left school early and went straight into work for a number of years. He received a two-year sentence in 2007 for violent disorder, and while in custody began smoking heroin.
Smith had since undergone a detox and was now free of drugs. He had also completed the alternative to violence course and anger management training. He hoped to continue with his education and rehabilitation.