A retired postmaster has told how he cannot go out at night after he was viciously assaulted while walking back to his home on St Patrick’s Day.
Ed Margey was punched from behind and repeatedly battered just yards from his home in Letterkenny, on March 17th, 2016.
Mr Margey had been at a soccer game with his son, had enjoyed a couple of drinks afterwards and was walking to his home at College Farm around 10.40pm.
However, he was jumped on by a man who demanded money from him after being punched in the back of the head.
Mr Margey fell forward and his attacker jumped on him and repeatedly punched him while demanding cash.
The victim also twisted his ankle and fell to the ground in pain.
Mr Margey threw some coins out he had in his pocket but the attacker continued to demand more cash.
The victim, who didn’t have his wallet on him, then threw away a €50 note he had in his pocket and his atatcker fled wiht it.
He managed to call Gardai and a search was launched for the attacker.
From CCTV footage, 2o year old Paddy Sweeney, of Castlerea Prison, was identified and later arrested.
While in custody at Letterkenny Garda station, Sweeney was found to have a €50 note in his underwear.
Although Mr Margey did not wish to address the court, he was present in court.
Detective Garda Joe Kealy said Mr Margey was a retired postmaster who lived near the town who loved to walk in and out of his work on the town’s Main Street.
However, since this attack he no longer walked the streets of his town at night.
Sweeney also faced another charge of assault causing harm, robbery and making threats to kill from a previous incident.
The court heard how on August 4th, 2015, Sweeney called to the home of neighbour Michael Boyce at Meadowbank Park in Letterkenny looking for money.
He asked to use the toilet and was allowed into the house but then asked for drink from Mr Boyce.
When he was refused, Sweeney jumped on him and, using a kitchen knife he grabbed from the house, stabbed his victim three times.
Gardai received an anonymous call and when they arrived at the house, Sweeney had fled over a back wall but was later apprehended.
Before he left the home of his victim, Sweeney shouted “I’ll kill you stone dead if you tell them it was me who did this to you.”
When arrested he was covered in blood as were the sleeves of his tracksuit.
Although Mr Boyce was not in court, he told Gardai how he now suffered from panic attacks, was very nervous and had been forced to move to a different town since the attack.
Sweeney took to the witness stand and told his victims that he was deeply sorry for what he had done.
Barrister Peter Nolan said Sweeney, who currently has no previous convictions, had a troubled background and he would have witnessed a lot of violence during his upbringing.
He pleaded with Judge John Aylmer to give his client some light at the end of the tunnel.
Judge Aylmer said he appreciated that these charges were very serious and that he had caused a lot of hurt to his victims.
However, he added that Sweeney must get rehabilitation for his drink and drugs addiction.
On the charges of assault causing harm, robbery and threats to kill Mr Boyce, he sentenced him to a total of three and half years.
On charges of robbery and assault of Mr Margey, Sweeney was sentenced to two years with the last 18 months suspended.
Both sentences are to run concurrently meaning that Sweeney will serve
a total of four years in prison.