Sentencing adjourned over Mullingar assault

Monday 07 April 2014 18.12
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Jessica Hughes was found guilty of assaulting Andrew Dolan
Jessica Hughes was found guilty of assaulting Andrew Dolan
Patrick Daly was found guilty of the same offence
Patrick Daly was found guilty of the same offence
Mr Dolan was assaulted outside a chip shop
Mr Dolan was assaulted outside a chip shop

A sentencing hearing for two people convicted of assaulting Co Leitrim student Andrew Dolan before he died in an incident on a street in Mullingar in December 2011 has been adjourned. 

Jessica Hughes, 21, of Greenfield Heights, Killucan, Co Westmeath, and 24-year-old Patrick Daly of Mulpheddar, Clonard, Co Meath were found guilty by a jury last January of assaulting the 20-year-old biomedical student outside a chip shop in Mullingar.

At a sitting of the Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Tony Hunt was told Mr Dolan's father Joe was prepared to read out a victim impact statement.

However, there were objections to this by the State and counsel for the two people convicted of his assault because the statement contained highly prejudicial material and fundamentally inflammatory material that is inadmissible at a sentencing hearing, according to counsel for Hughes and Daly. 

When Judge Hunt was told Mr Dolan was not prepared to read out an edited version of the statement, the judge ruled that no statement at all could be read into evidence. 

Judge Hunt said he understood exactly many of the things that had been written in Mr Dolan's victim impact statement.

However, he said the jury had acquitted Hughes and Daly of manslaughter after a trial and he could not therefore allow the statement to be given at a sentencing hearing.

Hughes' mother, Sandra Hughes, told the court her daughter talks about Andrew Dolan every single day and prays for him all the time.

Judge Hunt said the way she was behaving was quite aggressive and very strange on the night of the incident.

He said that until people start behaving themselves these type of incidents will continue to happen.  

Counsel for Hughes and Daly asked the judge to impose a sentence that included an aspect of community service but Judge Hunt adjourned the sentencing hearing and asked the State to make a written response to this request before 2 May. 

He then said he would complete the sentencing hearing in Tullamore on 12 May.