A man who forced a curtain rod into the anus of his mother’s lover in a “vile, tragic, vicious, cruel and barbaric” attack has been extended by a court of appeal today.
Ethan Doherty (24) of Legan, Co Longford attacks Derek Murphy with a broken pillar in the bedroom of a house in Lisnacriva, Colehill, Co Longford, after arriving at the property early in the morning and discovering his mother Sharon Doherty in bed. Mr. Murphy with.
During the attack, Doherty repeatedly hit Mr. Murphy in the back with a curtain pole until he broke into two pieces. He then took half of the broken pole and forced it “at least twice” into Mr. Murphy’s anus and left it there.
Doherty pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally or negligently causing grievous harm and one count of producing an article capable of causing grievous harm and was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for assault, plus a final three years to 10 years. been suspended.
He was also ordered to pay compensation of €30,000 to his victim when he had served his sentence, with a payment of €5,000 per year.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed against the suspended portion of the sentence imposed by Judge Keenan Johnson at Mullinger Circuit Criminal Court in January 2021.
Today, Mr. Justice Patrick McCarthy read out a three-judge court ruling, which increased Doherty’s sentence from three to five years in prison.
Mr Justice McCarthy said the attack was an “extremely violent one”, but said the title sentence identified by the trial judge was “appropriate”. He said the trial judge halved the prison sentence for “first-time offender” Doherty to “promote rehabilitation” and said the financial reinstatement element to the sentence was “understandable.”
However, Justice McCarthy then said that the court would set aside the existing sentence on the grounds of “detention” and make a separate order under Section 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act separating the financial aspect from the jail term. This would mean, the judge said, that there was no particular relation of financial restoration to the custodial sentence.
After setting aside the current sentence, Mr Justice McCarthy sentenced Doherty to six years’ imprisonment and two years’ suspension for the final year. Doherty now has to pay Mr. Murphy a compensation of €25,000 in annual installments of €5,000 over the 10 months after his release.
The court had previously heard that Mr. Murphy had suffered serious internal injuries and was forced to use a colostomy bag for several months as a result of the attack on June 3, 2018. He has also suffered psychological trauma.
He later told a court that the pain inflicted on him by Doherty was “excruciating” and that he thought he was going to die during the attack.
The state appealed on the grounds that the 50 percent reduction in the time Doherty spent in prison represented a “substantial departure” from other sentences served for similar “serious” crimes.
Shane Geraghty B.L. for the DPP told the Court of Appeals that “Judge Johnson described the attack as ‘despicable, tragic, vicious, cruel and barbaric,’ and I do not think we should withdraw”.
Mr Geraghty said rehabilitation was a “central factor” when Judge Johnson sentenced Doherty.
He said Doherty had entered the property “uninvited and forcibly” and had also killed his own mother before attacking Mr Doherty.
Under the circumstances, the three-year prison term was “inadequate in terms of censure and deterrent”, Mr Geraghty said.
Doherty’s Desmond Dockery SC told the court that his client was a “conscientious” son who was “slandered” by his father for using a broken device to attack Mr. Murphy.
Last month, Derek Doherty, 52, of Vickerstown, Ballymahon, was sentenced to 80 months in prison with a final 17 months in Longford Circuit Criminal Court for his role in the attack on Longford.
“His father led it,” Mr Dockery said, adding that the parents had instructed their son to “bastard” during the 3 a.m. attack.
There were other “broad” mitigation factors in the case, the lawyer said, including his client’s initial guilty plea, which was tendered at the height of the pandemic when there was a backlog of cases.
He said Judge Johnson deserved “a certain latitude” to “go the extra mile” to help a first-time offender seek rehabilitation, and asked the court not to interfere with a sentence handed down by “very experienced and considerate”. asked for judge.