Young man jailed for golf club attack

by Gazette Reporter

A father-to-be who struck a man on the head with a golf club ‘in a moment of madness’ and fractured his skull has been jailed for a year.

Dean Sutcliffe, 21, of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin —17 at the time of the offence — was found guilty by a jury of assault causing serious harm to Keith Fennelly, at Cushlawn Park on November 3, 2013.

Detective Garda David Jennings told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that prior to the assault, the victim and his brother became involved in an argument with the accused, who was sitting on a wall outside his home.

He told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that words were exchanged before Sutcliffe hit Mr Fennelly from behind with a golf club “with such force that the head of the club came off.”

Mr Farrelly suffered a fractured skull and internal bleeding, and spent a number of days in intensive care.

The court heard that Sutcliffe had no previous convictions and was not known to gardaí.

“I believe he saw the red mist on the day, it was a moment of madness,” Det Gda Jennings told the court.

Sentencing Sutcliffe last week, Judge Elma Sheahan said she agreed with Det Gda Jennings that the assault was a “moment of madness with very serious consequences for the victim”.

She noted Mr Farrelly has since made a full recovery and made reference to mitigating factors, including the accused’s youth, the absence of previous convictions, his impending fatherhood and that he was acting as a carer for his father.

Handing down a three-year sentence with the final two suspended, she said she believed he was “on the path to rehabilitation” but warned it was up to him to ensure he did not come before the courts again.

On release, Sutcliffe will be on probation for two years and must undergo anger management treatment.

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