Men jailed after brutal attack on Raphoe couple

February 7, 2017

Two men who took turns swigging a bottle of whiskey while they viciously assaulted a defenceless couple who had complained about noise outside their home have been jailed.

Leon Kelly, 29 and Jonathon Porter, 27,  were jailed after pleading guilty to assaulting Neil McConnell and his wife Marian outside their home in Raphoe in Co Donegal.

The court heard details of the vicious assault which took place in September, 2012.

Mr and Mrs McConnell had been watching television at their home in Meadowhill, Raphoe when they heard a racket outside their home around midnight.

Mr McConnell went outside and was set upon by both Kelly and Porter who were drinking from a bottle of whiskey.

Mr McConnell was kicked in the privates and then attacked while he was on the ground.

When Mrs Marian McConnell emerged from her home, Jonathon Porter attacked her viciously.

After assaulting her her said to her “Get back or you’ll get the same.”

The men fled when the third men said the Gardai were coming.

Leon Kelly – jailed for a year and a half.

Porter’s barrister Ms Fiona Crawford told Letterkenny Circuit Criminal Court that her client admitted that he was a drunken mess on the night and was ashamed of what had happened.

He had been shunned by his family and his mother did not speak to him for several months after the horrific attack.

She said however that since the incident four years ago, Porter had moved away and was not heavily involved in the training of horses at a high level.

He worked on a number of stud farms and broke horses for a number of top horse owners including Prince Khalid bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia of Juddmonte Farms.

He was now living in Kilmacourt Woods in Portarlington, Co Laois and has a partner and young daughter.

Kelly’s barrister, Mr Peter Nolan said his client had a serious issue with alcohol but was sorry for what he had done and had apologised to Mr McConnell and had paid him compensation of €200.

Kelly’s mother, Mrs Rosemary Kelly, said her son, of The Close, Raphoe, was a good man who called her every day but did have an issue with alcohol.

The court heard how Kelly had 23 previous convictions for a range of offences including assault and road traffic incidents.

Judge Martin Nolan said he was surprised that such violence had taken place in a rural area.

He added that he believed both men were remorseful for what they had done but stressed it was serious crime which he put at the mid to upper end of Section 3 assaults.

He sentenced both men to two and a half year sentences but adjourned the last year of each case meaning both men will serve one and a half years in prison.