Man who assaulted three people with a spanner in North Kerry receives prison sentence

A man who assaulted three people with a spanner in North Kerry has received a prison sentence.

Mitchum Harding of Main Street, Ballylongford pleaded guilty to four charges in Tralee Circuit Court, arising from incidents which occurred on Main Street and Quay Street, Ballylongford on the 21st December, 2013.

The 28-year-old faced three counts of assault causing harm, while the fourth was for producing an article capable of inflicting serious injury, namely a spanner.

Giving evidence, Garda John McEnery said there was a Christmas party taking place in Ballylongford when a friend of Mr Harding got involved in a dispute with another man.

Following this, the accused came to the venue with friends, brandishing a nine-inch steel spanner, and waited outside for this man.

However, the intended target had left earlier.

Mr Harding then attacked three men – Kenneth Foley, Padraig O’Sullivan and Adrian Stack – in an unprovoked attack as they left the premises.

Two of the victims penned a statement, where they cited ongoing headaches and the effect of scarring.

Mr Harding, who is a UK national, has 37 previous convictions, including one for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Tom Rice said two European arrest warrants were required to get Mr Harding to court.

In mitigation, barrister Brian McInerney said his client has come a long way since the incident in 2013.

Judge Cormac Quinn said, even though it was a mistaken attempt at defending a friend, it was still an unprovoked attack on three men, all of whom had no connection with the previous argument.

He imposed sentences totalling two years and nine months, backdated to May of 2019.