Millionaire businessman jailed for three years for unprovoked assault on a neighbor 10 years ago

Millionaire businessman jailed for three years for unprovoked assault on a neighbor 10 years ago

A farmer has been jailed for three years for a brutal and “premeditated” assault on his neighbor in Monaghan 10 years ago.

ugene Hanratty Snr (63) of Castleblayney Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh was convicted by a jury following a trial last month. He had pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan on November 24, 2012.

Garda Detective Paul Everard told Garrett McCormack BL, Prosecution, that on the Saturday afternoon of the attack, Martin McAllister and his wife were driving at 4:20pm in Castleblayney on their way to Crossmaglen when a vehicle approached with its headlights on. .

Mr. McAllister said at trial that he felt his path was blocked by the other vehicle and that he could not pass it. He later recognized the car’s occupants as Eugene Hanratty Snr and his son, Eugene Jnr.

The defendant got out of his car and began assaulting Mr. McAllister in his vehicle, trial heard. The victim said Hanratty Snr punched him multiple times in the head, pulled his hair and kicked him before the defendant pulled him out of the vehicle.

McAlister said at trial that the assault continued outside the car, with Hanratty Snr kicking him while he was on the ground. His right arm was trampled and he fell in and out of consciousness.

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Martin McAllister suffered multiple broken bones to his face as a result of the assault.

He testified that Hanratty Snr knew he was a musician, so he felt the stomping on his arm was significant in this regard.

Detective-Gda Everard said the victim’s wife, Mary McAllister, told jurors it was a sustained assault while her husband was in and out of the car.

She described asking Hanratty Snr to stop because she was worried her husband would die from injuries sustained in the attack. It was heard at the trial that Mr. Hanratty Jnr also asked his father to stop attacking the man.

The victim sustained multiple bone fractures to his face, both eye sockets were broken and he was left with permanent loss of his peripheral vision. He has been treated numerous times but without success and his loss of peripheral vision “affects my daily life”.

Speaking outside the courthouse after sentencing, McAllister said he believed the attack happened because he had “opposed the diesel sludge dump.”

In the earlier ruling, Judge Melanie Greally said the jury rejected Hanratty Snr’s just use-of-force defense, which held that the violence arose as a result of a physical altercation following a dispute over the hunting rights of ducks on local land.

The judge said the court was sentencing Hanratty Snr on the basis of having no information of any long history between the parties and treating the assault as unprovoked and premeditated.

He said aggravating factors included the premeditation, the severity and brutality of the violence, the fact that most of the blows, including kicks, were directed at the victim’s head and face, and the fact that Hanratty stepped on the victim’s arm knowing he is a musician

The judge said she also took into consideration the adverse effects of the assault on the quality of life of the victim and her family, and the fact that the assault was carried out in front of the man’s wife.

It established a main sentence of five years, which is the maximum sentence for the crime.

The judge noted as mitigating factors Hanratty Snr’s lack of recent convictions and that this type of “extreme violence” was completely out of character. She noted his good character and positive contributions to his family and community, describing him as a “hands-on” and hard-working farmer.

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, had previously claimed that his client was “a pillar of the community” who contributed to the activities of the local community, including the church and the GAA. He said that while his client does not fully accept the jury’s verdict, he does accept that he acted and used excessive violence that day.

The judge said there were no tangible expressions of remorse from the defendant, “not even a suggestion of apology for the injuries he has caused.” But he said that he accepted that his imprisonment would have a severe impact on his family and would be a source of shame and humiliation for him and his family.

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Guitarist Martin McAllister was mugged by the millionaire farmer in a brutal attack ten years ago

He also noted that a prison sentence for someone of his age and position is particularly difficult and pointed to his mental health issues as set out in a psychological report.

Taking all of these mitigating factors into account, he set a four-year sentence and suspended the last year on the condition that he have no contact with Mr. McAllister or his family for the next decade.

Last month’s conviction came after the third trial in the case. The first trial resulted in a disagreement with the jury unable to reach a verdict and the second trial collapsed after the jury was discharged. Last October, the jury unanimously convicted Hanratty Snr after an hour of deliberation.

Hanratty Snr, whose company sponsors the Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club, has two previous convictions, one for assaulting a garda in 1989 and one for criminal damage in 1997, the court heard. He has not come to the attention of Garda since the 2012 raid.

The defendant had previously been charged with cross-border fuel smuggling and had €2 million in 12 bank accounts frozen by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). He denied these claims.

When this case came to court in 2007, the judge was told that a confidential settlement had been reached between the CAB and Hanratty Snr.

In October 2016 a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury acquitted Mr Hanratty Jnr (41) of Dundalk Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, of assaulting and causing harm to Mr McAllister. It was the State’s case that he had not taken part in the physical beating but was charged on a joint venture basis.

Speaking outside the courthouse after sentencing, McAllister said he believed the attack happened because he had “spoken against the diesel sludge dump.”

“South Armagh in particular and the Monaghan-Louth border, it has been a scourge there. This runs into the rivers, it runs into the lake at home, and I wasn’t happy, so I talked about it. Make no mistake about it, that’s the reason.”

“I am relieved that this is over. It’s all over for my wife. She may have suffered physical injuries; my wife suffered terribly seeing it. My wife has worked in the ER for 35 years and there is nothing she hasn’t seen.

“There is a fear factor, there is an omerta where I live and you are not going to get people to comment openly. People are still afraid.

“The importance is that you can no longer get away with intimidating people, harassing people. This man is a great bully, but like all bullies at the end of the day, he is a coward. What he did to me was very easy. He blocked me in my own lane; I don’t know what they hit me with on the side of the head.

“I still have a problem with my left eye, that kind of freezing feeling when you leave the dentist. I have a titanium implant that helps him a bit. I’ll keep going. I’ve never turned around for someone in my life.”

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