Visitor hit host with frying pan and plate

A young man was walloped with a frying pan and had a plate broken over his head when he admitted a pal and two strangers to his home for a few drinks.

A young man was walloped with a frying pan and had a plate broken over his head when he admitted a pal and two strangers to his home for a few drinks.

He even went out of the house as the sober person to travel to a shop and restock with drink when they ran out.

Matthew Coyle, 23, had to have six staples placed in his head and two stitches were applied to his forehead, Glenties District Court was told yesterday.

The court heard that Coyle was expecting friends to call at his home on September 10th last year at Strand Road, Derrybeg. A taxi pulled up and three men got out, one of them a friend with two others he didn’t know.

Inspector Sylvie Henry said the visitors had drink taken and when they ran out of it Mr Coyle went to a shop to get more.

As he was placing beer in a fridge to cool, he was attacked.

The court heard a statement from Mr Coyle in which he said he was on all fours, still putting the drink in the fridge when he was hit from behind by what he thought was a baseball bat. He was kicked in his ribs and his chest and, as he put up his hands and elbows, he kept getting thumped by two men.

At one stage as he was being attacked he heard a hollow noise. The friend who was with the other men came into the kitchen and the attack stopped. The friend looked at the two other men and said nothing.

Mr Boyle’s statement added: “One of them pulled me up and I said ‘what was that about’ and he didn’t say anything. Then I was hit again going out the door and my t-shirt was ripped off me.”

He finally escaped out of the house.

Inspector Henry said a plate was broken over Mr Coyle’s head and the “hollow” sound he heard was of a frying pan hitting his neck during the assault.

Patrick McLaughlin, 45, admitted the assault. The court was told a warrant was issued for the arrest of the other man in the attack.

McLaughlin, a father of three of Meenacuing, Gweedore, had a list of offences going back to the 90s. He’s currently serving 21 months in jail and that’s due to expire in January.

Judge Paul Kelly said he was taking into account commendations from the prison staff and submissions by defence solicitor Cormac Hartnett that McLaughlin was dealing successfully with a past history of chronic alcoholism.

But the judge added: “I cannot overlook the most cowardly and savage attack on a completely innocent party who took these people into his home and then went out for more drink because he was the only one capable of it.

“I can only imagine how terrifying it must seem to be assaulted in your own house, not once but twice after he was helped up from the floor and he thought it was over.”

The judge recalled the attack happened only three months after another court imposed a six months sentence on McLaughlin and suspended it for a year.

He sentenced McLaughlin to nine months and imposed a 350 euro fine to be paid immediately with an alternative, if it was not paid, of an additional 15 day jail sentence, to be served concurrently.