A man who was involved in the abduction of another man, who gardaí found in a bath naked and seriously injured, has been jailed for three years.
Dean Thornton, 23, with an address at Beechwood Drive, Marley's Lane, Drogheda, Co Louth, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Aaron Rochford at the Moneymore Estate, Drogheda on 11 November, 2018.
Thornton was not one of the ringleaders of the attack, which was part of the ongoing Drogheda feud.
Gardaí were policing the estate on the night of the attack as there was heightened tension as a result of the ongoing feud.
They received a 999 call raising serious concerns for the safety of a man described as being "abducted".
The Armed Support Unit breached the front door of a house in the estate and officers found Mr Rochford in a state of shock, unclothed in a bathtub and covered in blood having sustained a broken jaw and slash wounds to his upper torso and head.
Mr Rochford, who was 22 at the time, has since passed away in circumstances completely unrelated to this case.
Detective Superintendent John O'Flaherty said gardaí had identified a number of people of interest, including Thornton, moving in the Moneymore area around two adjacent properties in the estate where the back gardens were separated by a wall.
Gardaí received a 999 call to say a man, not Thornton, had abducted a man at one of the houses and a further call said the victim, Mr Rochford, had been moved from one house to the other.
The caller indicated there were real concerns for his safety.
CCTV later recovered by gardaí shows a car pulling up and Mr Rochford being forcibly taken from it before being punched by Thornton.
Mr Rochford was brought to one of the houses and then moved to the other over the next 20 minutes and over the back wall and through the front doors.
When the gardaí raided the house, Thornton was caught attempting to escape from a window.
Mr Rochford was found crouching unclothed in a bath, covered in blood with slash wounds to his upper torso and head.
He appeared to be in shock.
A number of weapons including a knife and crossbow were also recovered.
His grandmother Mary Rochford said the victim was a "lovable rogue" and described going to see him in the hospital where he was kept for a week.
She said her "heart stopped beating" because she was so upset at how he looked with bruises, cuts, blood and wires everywhere.
Thornton subsequently apologised for his role in the attack.
Judge Martin Nolan said Thornton had been involved in a "rather nasty and serious assault".
He said every crime had a context, but mob rule and mob law had no place in Drogheda or any other part of the country and Thornton should not have involved himself.
Judge Nolan said the principle mitigation in the case was the guilty plea and expression of remorse.
He noted Thornton did cooperate with arrest and had ambitions to reform himself. He said the case fell at the higher end, but Thornton was entitled to some discount.
Judge Nolan noted the court was constrained to some degree by the maximum sentence of five years for this offence.
He imposed a three-year sentence with credit to be given for time already spent in custody.