Drug binge thug who battered brother with hurling stick is jailed
A 21-year-old man who hit his brother up to 12 times with a hurling stick in an alcohol and drug-fuelled attack outside their home was jailed for four years and nine months yesterday.
Eoin Collins admitted hitting older brother Conor with the weapon as the victim was standing and after he fell to the ground at Barr's Lane on March 28 last year.
He also admitted assaulting three police officers who were called to the scene by neighbours.
The court heard he kicked one officer on the leg, headbutted another and spat his blood in the face of a female officer.
The Crown Court in Derry was told that Conor had forgiven his brother, and other siblings were also supportive of the defendant.
But Judge Philip Babington said while he noted the views of the family and the content of a letter from Conor, the court must consider public safety.
Judge Babington said Eoin Collins had an appalling record of 38 previous criminal convictions, 10 for assault.
He said Collins had been assessed to have a high likelihood of reoffending.
The court heard that when police arrived at the scene of the attack, they saw Conor lying on the ground with a pillow under his head, being tended to by a member of the public.
Paramedics were called and initially Conor was not responsive.
A hurling stick was found in a neighbouring garden.
The defendant had a number of facial injuries and part of his lower lip was missing.
As the police tried to talk to the defendant he attacked them.
The following day the victim, who had cuts to the left side of his head, refused to make a statement. Judge Babington said it was fortunate he was not more seriously injured.
A psychiatric report said Eoin Collins experimented with drugs in his early to mid-teens but in recent times his preference was to use blues, Xanax or cocaine.
The judge said: "It seems the defendant told the author of the report that he was flat out for some weeks before the incident taking drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol.
"He told the author of the report that he was under the influence of different substances at the time and was not in full control of himself."
Judge Babington said the incident followed a three-day drinking and drugs taking binge.
He added: "This was an appalling and serious assault by the defendant on his brother, who at times was completely defenceless lying on the ground."