Two Tralee brothers have been sentenced to nine and a half years in jail – with four years suspended – for what a judge has described as a gratuitous and frenzied assault on their uncle at his home four years ago.
Tommy Kelly of 138 Marian Park, Tralee and Robert Kelly of 8 Ogham Rian, Tralee had both denied recklessly or intentionally causing serious harm to Gerald Fitzgerald at 38 Mitchel’s Road, Tralee on November 8th, 2011.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said Mr Fitzgerald was literally at death’s door when he was found in the back yard of his home on the night in question.
Please note the following contains details which some listeners might find disturbing.
On May 22nd last, Tommy and Robert Kelly were found guilty by a jury at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court of causing serious harm to Gerald Fitzgerald who was 46 years old at the time of the assault.
The trial heard that the three had been drinking heavily on the day in question before Mr Fitzgerald was assaulted at his home by his nephews with ad hoc weaponry including a child’s scooter, a yard brush, an ashtray and two tennis rackets.
Mr Fitzgerald was deeply unconscious when he was discovered – he had sustained serious injuries to his head and internal injuries caused by the forcible insertion of the handle of a tennis racket into his back passage.
The trial heard that Robert and Tommy Kelly had tried to burn the clothes they were wearing soon after the assault.
At the sentencing hearing today, Judge Eugene O’Kelly described the attack variously as brutal, vicious, frenzied and sustained.
He said the internal injuries caused were callous, gratuitous and degrading for the victim who has no memory of the incident.
Robert and Tommy Kelly had left the scene without summoning help, he said, and but for the fortuitous arrival of a taxi driver and a neighbour at the house, the outcome could have been different.
He sentenced the brothers to nine and a half years in prison, with four years suspended in both cases because of the apologies offered and the progress they have made since their initial imprisonment in May this year.