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26 May 2022

Bundoran man pays out €22,500 to assault victims

Compensation order and community service in lieu of going to jail

Bundoran man pays out €22,500 to assault victims

Sligo Courthouse

A Donegal man, who pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing harm to a male and a female has paid out a total of €22,500 to his victims. 

Neil Hegarty, Shiel Avenue, Bundoran, (36), was given a total of 240 hours of a Community Service Order in lieu of a total of four and a half years in jail, after his case came before Sligo Circuit Court. 

He pleaded guilty at an earlier court sitting to charges of assaulting Brian Crossan causing him harm and to an identical charge in respect of Veronica McBrearty at JFK Parade, Sligo, on December 2, 2018. 

He also pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon on the same date and at the same location. 

The defendant was ordered to pay a total of €22,500 as compensation to his victims. 

When the case was called at this week’s circuit court, defence counsel Keith O’Grady said that Judge Francis Comerford ruled that if a sum of money was in court the case would be dealt with by way of a Community Service Order in lieu of a jail sentence. 

Mr O’Grady told the court that a total of €15,000 had been paid as compensation last November, which was divided in sums of €11,500 to Mr Crossan and €3,500 to Ms McBrearty. 

He added that a further sum of money totalling €7,500 was available at the court. 

Mr Crossan was to be given €6,000 and Ms McBrearty €1,500. 

The court heard that a sentence of 200 hours Community Service was due to be imposed on the defendant in lieu of three years in jail for the assault on Brian Crossan and 40 hours in lieu of 18 months in jail for the assault on Ms McBrearty. 

The charge of having an offensive weapon was taken into consideration. 

In affirming the sentence, Judge Catherine Staines said the community service would have to be served within a year.

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