A builder who attacked his neighbour following a lengthy dispute has pleaded with a judge to spare him a criminal record so he can move to Australia with his partner.
Peter Lambe (50) had denied assault causing harm to Gerard Furlong (62), who suffered serious facial injuries during the incident at Arran Road, in Drumcondra, Dublin, on the morning of March 4, 2016.
But he was found guilty following his trial at Dublin District Court in December and yesterday, despite not accepting the verdict, he pleaded with Judge John Cheatle to spare him a criminal record.
Judge Cheatle was furnished with a probation report on Lambe.
He adjourned sentencing until April to allow the accused time to complete a restorative justice services programme.
That would involve a letter of apology, which defence counsel Alan Grace described as “a sticking point” for his client.
He said his client had €1,000 to offer to Mr Furlong, who had earlier turned down an offer of compensation.
Mr Grace said the offer was still available or it could go to charity instead.
Pleading for leniency, he asked for the judge to spare his client a conviction.
He said the probation report was largely positive, however, Lambe did not fully accept his guilt.
The accused “seems to view it as an altercation that got out of hand”, counsel said.
The court heard there was “no love lost” between the neighbours and the incident followed a lengthy dispute.
Mr Furlong had told the trial that on the day of the incident Lambe grabbed him and started punching him. They went to the ground and Lambe got the better of him.
He said his daughter Claire Tynan came out and a neighbour witnessed the incident.
Ms Tynan told the court she was petrified when she saw the attack on her father and she described how he was punched and continuously headbutted.
Mr Furlong said in his victim impact statement that he was “still continuously in fear of Mr Lambe”.
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