Friday, March 10, 2023

Eimear Dodd

A man who placed his bloodied fingers in the mouth of one of his victims during an unprovoked and sustained attack has been handed a prison sentence.

Jakub Kaczar (20) pleaded guilty to separate counts of assaulting David Morrell and Ciara Walsh causing them harm at Hawk Cliff, Vico Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin on November 20th, 2020.

Kaczar, of Strand Street Upper, Wicklow town, Co Wicklow, also pleaded guilty to one count of putting blood onto Aisling Leahy, giving her the likelihood to believe she might be infected with a disease on the same date.

Kaczar has a number of previous convictions and is currently serving a 16-month sentence for a count of assault causing harm imposed by Wicklow Circuit Criminal Court in December 2022.

Imposing sentence on Friday, Judge Martina Baxter said this incident was “very disturbing” and the court was concerned by the “prolonged and aggressive attack” carried out by Kaczar.

Judge Baxter said the victims were out socialising in a public place and were “minding their own business” when they encountered Kaczar and the co-accused.

Kaczar’s co-accused, who is a juvenile, was handed a two and a half year suspended sentence for his role in the attack. Judge Baxter noted that the co-accused left, but Kaczar continued with his “persistent and relentless behaviour”.


She said Kaczar subjected Mr Morrell to an “unprovoked”, “disturbing and brutal assault” which caused extensive injuries to the victim.

Judge Baxter said Kaczar’s behaviour towards Ms Leahy was “highly aggravating” and placing his bloodied fingers in her mouth was a “callous act” intended to “intimidate and terrify”.

She handed Kaczar a total prison sentence of three years with the final 18 months suspended on strict conditions.


Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the accused and another male had followed Mr Morrell on the day, as he was walking on a path to meet Ms Walsh and Ms Leahy at Hawk Cliff.

Kaczar told Mr Morrell he was “going to f**king kill you”.  He and his accomplice then set on Mr Morrell, subjecting him to a sustained attack.

The accused punched Mr Morrell in the face and head. The other male subsequently left, but Kaczar continued to assault Mr Morrell, demanding an apology.

There was a struggle between the pair, during which they fell to the ground. Kaczar sustained a cut to his head, got up then kicked Mr Morrell.

The two other victims attempted to push themselves between their friend and Kaczar, who ignored their pleas to stop.

Fingers in mouth

At one stage, Kaczar covered his hand in blood from the cut to his head, then ran his bloodied hand along Ms Leahy’s face, which resulted in his fingers being placed in her mouth.

Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, said Ms Leahy had to have blood tests following this incident and suffered “great distress” at the risk that she could have contracted a disease from Kaczar.

During the attack, Ms Walsh was pushed and fell onto a bench, causing bruising to her leg.

Mr Morrell suffered a black eye and soft tissues injuries to his neck, face and leg.

Victim impact statements were read to the court by Ms Leech on behalf of Ms Leahy and Ms Walsh.


Ms Leahy said she was “disgusted” at the thought that blood in her mouth that was not her own. She said she was shocked and “very afraid” that she would contract a disease.

The two female victims said they felt terrified watching the attack on their friend.

Reading his victim impact statement, Mr Morrell said he was in shock for days following the attack and suffered with depression and anxiety. He said he has not been able to return to the area since this incident.

All three victims said they feel more nervous and intimidated by groups of strangers since the attack.

Kaczar made no admissions when interviewed by gardaí and has not come to negative garda attention since this incident.

Kaczar’s aunt told Eamonn O’Moore BL, defending, that the defendant moved to her home in 2019 with the aim of removing him from the influence of a negative peer group.

‘Different person’

She said her nephew has done a lot of work on himself and is a “different person” from two years ago. He also supported the family following the tragic death of his mother last year.

Mr O’ Moore said his client is still a young man and has made significant efforts to rehabilitate. He said Kaczar is doing well in custody and working in the kitchen, though no governor’s report was provided to the court.

A letter of apology to the victims was handed into the court. Mr O’Moore said his client had also brought €600 to court as a gesture of remorse.

Judge Baxter said the victim impact statements were “powerful” and the three victims had dealt with the matters with dignity. 

She noted that the three victims were “young people acting in accordance with the recommendations in place at the time” of a Covid-19 lockdown. 

Judge Baxter said the aggravating factors included Kaczar’s previous relevant convictions and that he was on bail at the time of this incident.

Judge Baxter said she took in consideration Kaczar’s early guilty plea, his young age and expressions of remorse as mitigation.

She noted the impact on Kaczar of the loss of his mother and the support provided to him by his aunt. Judge Baxter also noted that the Probation Service found Kaczar to be at medium risk of re-offending.

She handed Kaczar a three-year sentence for the assault on Mr Morrell, an 18-month sentence for assaulting Ms Walsh and a two-and-a-half year sentence in respect of the third count. These sentences are concurrent and to run consecutive to the sentence Kaczar is currently serving.

Judge Baxter said she would suspend the final 18 months of the sentence for two year to incentivise Kazcar’s efforts to rehabilitate himself. She imposed a number of strict conditions including that Kaczar place himself under the supervision of the Probation Service for 18 months post-release.

Judge Baxter also directed that €400 should be offered to Mr Morrell and €100 each to Ms Leahy and Ms Walsh.

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