Man jumped from two storey building to escape attacker

August 8, 2021

A terrified man jumped from a two-storey apartment block and suffered horrific injuries to escape a man who broke into his apartment.

Gardai found Anthony McGinley’s right leg protruding through his jeans and he had injuries to his chest,elbows and eye when they arrived on the scene in Letterkenny, Co Donegal on November 2nd, 2018.

McGinley jumped from the building after his attacker Colin Kelly burst into his apartment.

Kelly had told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he had lived in the same apartment previously and that €200 had gone missing.

He had gone to the property in search of another man who he believed had been responsible for the theft.

Prosecution barrister Patricia McLaughlin said the victim had feared for his life and opted to escape by jumping over the balcony railing.

Mr McGinley had made an effort to stand up but had been unable to do so and instead crawled to the side of the apartment block at Railway Court, Pearse Road.

Garda personnel entered the building and found the television smashed and the apartment ransacked.

Kelly had arrived at the apartment and broken through the front door before launching an attack on Mr McGinley.

After his arrest in interview Kelly said he had taken his anger out on the furniture by punching the T.V. set and throwing a cistern lid onto the bed.

He told Gardai that Mr McGinley had “basically freaked out” and jumped from the window.

The injured party had been removed to hospital where he was treated for compound fractures of his tibia and fibia along with abrasions to his chest.

He also suffered fractures of his right orbital bone and three metatarsals and sustained further injuries to his ribs.

In a Victim Impact statement to the court, Mr McGinley said he had considered attempting to escape through the front door but was concerned that Kelly would catch up with him.

“I jumped from a two-storey apartment block because I knew that he would catch me,” he added.

He was in a cast for several months and was unable to engage in pursuits he had previously enjoyed included running and walking and playing with his children. Relationships with family had become strained and he had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

The accused said he was “very sorry” when he addressed the injured party in court. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

“He is deeply ashamed of his actions. This was a chaotic time in his life and he was drinking excessive amounts of alcohol,” said defence counsel, Peter Nolan, who said that a probation and welfare report had indicated that his client had started an anger management course.

Sentencing the accused, Judge Aylmer noted Kelly’s victim empathy and the fact that he had undertaken the anger management course. He was also attempting to deal with his addiction issues and had taken positive steps in this regard.

He had considered a community service order but said the offence was “too serious” not to impose a custodial sentence.

He sentenced the accused to two years imprisonment, suspending the final twelve months on condition that he enter a bond of €100 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Judge Aylmer also ordered Kelly to abstain from alcohol and unprescribed drugs.

Kelly, who had addresses at Bakers Court, Ballyshannon, and at Orchard Drive, Donegal Town, had also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Christopher Foy on July 1st, 2018, at Drumbruce, Donegal Town.

On that occasion, he had demanded payment for a debt while causing his victim alarm and distress.

Mr Foy had received less serious injuries than the previous victim, Judge Aylmer noted. But he considered the offence merited an 18 month prison sentence.

Taking into consideration the mitigating factors, the Judge said the accused had made full admissions to the charges and entered an early plea of guilty. He said he would suspend the sentence partially.

Both sentences are to run concurrently.