Monday, November 07, 2022

Isabel Hayes

A man who was part of a “violent mob” that armed itself with hatchets, knives and bats and engaged in violent disorder in a northside/southside Dublin feud has been jailed for one year.

Jonathon Smith (41) was one of a gang of about 11 men from the Sheriff Street area in north inner city Dublin who crossed the Liffey to engage in fighting with men from the Pearse House complex in November 2020, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Monday.

In the course of the “extremely violent fight” that ensued, Smith was stabbed in the back twice, suffering a punctured lung, a fractured shoulder blade and a broken rib. In total, three people were hospitalised in the wake of the violence.

Sentencing Smith, Judge Martin Nolan noted that when he went along with the group of armed men, he must have known that violence would ensue. “His real culpability was going to Pearse House with a violent mob,” he said.

Previous convictions

The judge noted Smith has a number of previous convictions, including for firearms and drugs. He handed down a sentence of one year.

Smith, of Crinian Strand, Sheriff Street Lower, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of violent disorder at Creighton Street on November 3rd, 2020.

Sergeant Sean McCarthy told the court that the incident stemmed out of a feud between people in Sheriff Street and Pearse Street areas. On the day in question, two men from the Sheriff Street area bumped into a man from the Pearse Street area and a row broke out.

As a result, a bunch of men from Sheriff Street gathered with assorted weapons and descended on the Pearse House complex. They smashed the window of one man’s home before a group of men emerged, also armed with weapons, and chased the Sheriff Street men onto nearby Creighton Street.

In the course of the fight, Smith was seen on CCTV footage throwing an object at the opposing crowd. He then decided to flee the scene on his bike, but was caught and stabbed twice. He managed to cycle home with his injuries before an ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital.

The two other people who were hospitalised suffered a head wound and a fractured skull from a bat, the court heard. A number of people are still before the courts in relation to the incident.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said his client had a work history as a labourer and painter / decorator.

He was addicted to heroin from a young age, but he managed to wean himself off drugs a decade ago and has been drug-free ever since. He has set up a support group in his community, which has a number of members.

Mr Le Vert said Smith was due to start a job installing solar panels if he was not jailed.

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