Community service for man following ‘drink-fuelled assault’ in Letterkenny

June 30, 2017

A 40-year-old Polish man has avoided jail after a ‘drink-fuelled’ assault following a New Year’s Eve party in Letterkenny. 

Pawel Stolarczyk of Dromore, Letterkenny, was sentenced at Letterkenny District Court for assault causing harm to Andrezj Urban at his home, at The Maples, Letterkenny, on January 1, 2013.

Last July, Stolarczyk had been trialled by a jury, who found him unanimously guilty of assault causing harm to Mr Urban.

The pair had both attended a New Year’s Eve party at a house in Ballymacool, Letterkenny, the previous night, December 31, 2012.

There had been a falling out at the party between Stolarczyk and the home owners. Stolarczyk was asked to leave but, Detective Garda Cullen said, there was ‘difficulty’ in getting him to leave.

The following morning, Urban – who left the party early with his wife as he had complained of a migraine – was awoken by banging on his front door at The Maples.

Urban opened to find ’some guys outside’, including Stolarczyk, who demanded that Urban give him an address of another man who had been involved in an incident the previous night.

Detective Garda Cullen said Urban had not been present the previous night during any incidents that took place and had not been involved in prior altercations.

The court heard that Stolarczyk was in possession of ‘a metal bat’ but had assaulted Urban with his fist before leaving in an Audi A4. Urban sustained a cut to his lip, which was sore for a number of days.

“Stolarczyk hit me on the mouth with his fist,” Urban said in his evidence. “He had a metal bat, but the assault was a punch.”

In a victim impact statement, Urban said that the incident ‘strongly influenced my mental health and functioning. I lost a sense of security, became more nervous and had difficulty with sleep and concentration. Every day I remind myself that the perpetrator might come to my house again’.

Stolarczyk has been living in Ireland since 2006 and has been working for a local refuse company since then.

Counsel for Stolarczyk, Fiona Crawford BL, said that her client was a ‘hard-working family man’ who adapts his working hours to suit his son, who has non-verbal autism.

Stolarczyk lodged €500 with the court and the court heard that he was suitable for community service.

Judge John O’Hagan said that he felt, having listened to the evidence in the case from beginning to end, that the atmosphere on the night had been ‘particularly threatening and menacing’.

“There was a party, a good time was had by all, but there was an awful lot of drink involved,” he said.

“This was all in a drink-fuelled atmosphere with an awful lot of aggression. Drink might well have been talking, but it was serious.

“I have little doubt that Mr Urban was very worried and his poor wife was awoken by the commotion; it must have been a very disturbing experience for her too.”

Judge O’Hagan sentenced Stolarczyk to 240 hours community service, in lieu of 18-months imprisonment.

Meanwhile, a co-accused, Dariusz Kot, did not appear sentencing for his part in a separate assault. Judge O’Hagan issued a bench warrant for his arrest.