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Thurles Resident Receives Suspended Sentence Following Assault On Elderly Pensioner.

A former resident of Croke Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary has avoided an eight month prison sentence, following an assault which occurred at an acute psychiatric unit, on 81 year old patient Mr Gearoid McHugh, leaving latter victim with a brain injury.

Thirty four year old, Mr Brendan McCormack appeared before Ennis Circuit Court, having previously pleaded guilty to the single charge of assault.

Mr Justice Francis Comerford, in sentencing, stated that he accepted that Mr McCormack was struggling from a psychotic episode, when he punched Mr McHugh, while in the acute psychiatric unit, at Ennis General Hospital, on April 24th, 2019 last.
Mr McCormack was only in the acute psychiatric unit some three hours previously, having been brought there by Gardaí as an involuntary admission, and prior to the assault taking place.

Mr McHugh with an address at Quin, Co Clare, was already extremely ill, prior to the assault and sadly passed away almost 5 weeks later, on May 28th, 2019.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Comerford stated that it had not been established that there was any acceleration brought about leading to the death of Mr McHugh, as a result of the single blow from Mr McCormack.

Judge Comerford, however, did imposed an eight month suspended prison term on Mr McCormack, with the condition that he remain under the care of his local mental health services and absent himself from the continuous use of both illegal drugs and alcohol.

In terms of mitigation Judge Comerford stated that there was no premeditation, no weapon and it was a single blow.

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