Men kicked Donegal husband and wife during early morning attack

Took turns to drink from a bottle of whiskey while they kicked a father on the ground

By Staff Reporter

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Men kicked Donegal husband and wife during early morning attack

Two men took turns to drink from a bottle of whiskey while they kicked a father on the ground before one of them pushed his wife to the ground and kicked her in the stomach in an assault at their home.

The two men were involved in the attack on the couple after the husband went out to object to noise they were making outside their home in Raphoe in the early hours of September 8th, 2012.

Jonathan Porter, 13 The Birches, Kilmacourt Woods, Portarlington, Co Laois and Leon Kelly of The Close, Raphoe, both pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Letterkenny Circuit Courtthis afternoon.

Porter admitted assaulting Neil McConnell and his wife Marian McConnell at their home at Meadowhill, Raphoe while Kelly admitted assault causing harm to Mr McConnell.

Pre-sentencing evidence was heard in the case of Jonathan Porter before Judge Martin Nolan.

The court heard the 27-year-old was drinking with Kelly and one other male and were passing the McConnell home. The couple were watching television with their family at 1am when Mr McConnell heard a loud noise at the gate to their home.

He went outside and saw the three men. Leon Kelly was the first to assault him and then Porter began to hit him from behind.

Kelly kicked him in the groin and the two men dragged him to the ground and punched him in the face. They then kicked him while he lay on ground.

The men were drinking from a bottle of whiskey and took turns to kick Mr McConnell.

Porter tried to enter the house and tried to push past Mrs McConnell. He pushed her over a fence and she hit her head on a garden feature. Porter kicked her twice in the stomach, threatened her and hit her in the face.

The court heard that Kelly told Porter he should not have hit a woman.

The assault only ended when gardaí turned up.

Garda Casserly said when she turned up Mr McConnell was injured with cuts and bruises “from head to toe” and his clothing was torn.

Mrs McConnell was in shock and her face appeared swollen.

When interviewed Port denied assault but admitted there was a scuffle.

He admitted drinking shots and beer. He said he was attacked by Mr McConnell with a hurly but he did not make a complaint to gardaí.

Garda Casserly said Porter went to the family to apologise for whatever happened but was adamant he did not assault anyone.

The court heard that the three men were making a racket which led to Mr McConnell coming out.

Porter has six previous convictions for public order offences.

Defence counsel Fiona Crawford (BL) said Porter, who is originally from Lifford, was 23 at the time.

She said he offered no excuses for the attack. “He was just a drunken mess. He was acting the maggot when these people came out of the house. He is very ashamed of his behaviour.”

She said Porter’s mother did not speak to him after after she heard what he did because she was so ashamed.

Ms Crawford said Porter had problems with drugs and binge drinking in the past but had not taken drink for over two years.

He lives with his partner and baby daughter and works breaking horses for horse trainers.

Judge Martin Nolan said the assaults were vicious and unprovoked and showed Porter had a violent disposition which probably had been inflamed by drink.

The judge adjourned sentencing to February 7th when Leon Kelly will also be sentenced.