A forty year old man who kicked and stamped a fellow homeless man to such an extent that he was “almost unrecognisable” to family members who identified his body in the morgue has been jailed for life.
Christopher O’Sullivan, who is originally from Kerry, had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Timothy “Timmy” Hourihane on October 13th, 2019 at a “tented village” in Mardyke Walk in Cork city.
A Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork heard that Timmy Hourihane suffered severe facial trauma, brain swelling, broken facial bones and battering of teeth in the attack. Mr O’Sullivan carried out the assault with an accomplice who has already been jailed for eleven years in relation to the assault.
Det Supt Michael Comyns said that the assault on a grass verge was so severe that one of the teeth of the victim was found in his stomach at his postmortem.
Mr Hourihane, who was a gifted chef who had once served Elton John and Lionel Richie. died of inhalation of blood and cardiac arrest. The father of one also sustained a collapsed lung and severe facial and head trauma arising out of the unprovoked attack.
Members of the public went to the assistance of Mr Hourihane who had been badly beaten. However, he died a short time later at Cork University Hospital.
Mr O’Sullivan was originally due to stand trial for murder. However, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year.
The court heard that the atmosphere was strained among members of the homeless community who were living in close proximity to each other in tents.
Mr O’Sullivan has 48 previous convictions for extremely serious and violent crimes including assault causing serious harm, robbery, burglary, criminal damage, drugs offences and possession of knives.
A victim impact statement from Eliot Hourihane, the only son of Timmy Hourihane, was read in court.
Mr Hourihane said he couldn’t begin to explain how “angry and sad” the violent passing of his father had made him.
He said that you don’t get those kinds of injuries his Dad sustained if they weren’t trying to end his life.
In sentencing Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that Mr O’Sullivan and his accomplice had carried out a “shocking, unrelenting and savage assault on a helpless man who lay prone on the ground.”