Suspended sentence for Donegal crane driver who assaulted married couple

Judge Paul Kelly noted that the couple received “appalling injuries” when minding their own business in a take-away on a night out.

By Staff Reporter

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Suspended sentence for Donegal crane driver who assaulted newly married couple

By Saff Reporter

editorial@donegaldemocrat.com@dgldemocrat

A Donegal crane-driver involved in an assault on a married couple in a take-away was sentenced to a 21-month suspended jail sentence today.

Judge Paul Kelly noted that the couple received “appalling injuries” when minding their own business in a take-away on a night out.

Hugh Sharkey, 30, of Gweedore Road, Dungloe, admitted assault causing harm to Sharon McKelvey and her husband Patrick McKelvey on April 14, 2014, at Main Street, Dungloe.

Judge Kelly said at Dungloe District Court that Patrick McKelvey was dragged out of the take-away, kicked and punched on the ground and received serious injuries.

Garda Inspector Shaun Grant told the court that the McKelveys didn’t wish to attend court as they were now getting on with their lives.

The court heard that Mrs. McKelvey still suffers from some anxiety.

Defence solicitor Michael Gillespie told the court that Sharkey was working as a crane driver in England and was bailed at Carrick-on-Shannon Court when home for Christmas. If he received a custodial sentence he was likely to lose his job.

He had already paid €2,000 compensation to the victims and he and his father Charles, who stood bail, were also prepared to donate the €2,500 bail money to the defendants.

Mr Gillespie added: “He very much regrets the incident. He had been drinking for two days after being at a wedding the day before.”

The solicitor said Sharkey only became involved after he had tried to first intervene in a dispute between the couple and a co-accused who was dealt with at a previous court.

Judge Kelly ordered the payment of the €2,500 bail money as compensation to Patrick McKelvey “who suffered the most serious injuries.”

He also imposed a sentence of 12 months for the attack on Mr McKelvey and nine months for the assault on Sharon McKelvey. He suspended the sentences for two years.

Sharkey was also fined a total of €400 for threatening and abusive behaviour and for being drunk in a public place.