Two found guilty for vicious attack on Garda and friends
‘I FIND them guilty of the assaults as charged,’ said Judge Murrough Connellan as the case against John Cox and Ned Doran drew to a close last Thursday in Bray District Court.
Cox (23), 59 Hazelwood, and Doran (18), 51 Ballywaltrim Heights formed two of a gang of five people who launched an attack on Inspector James Delaney, his girlfriend Eva O’Connor and their friend John Crowe as the trio made their way home after an evening out on January 27 last year.
Judge Connellan described Inspector Delaney, whose parents live in Bray, as someone ‘with a serious resume in the Gardai.’
The case revolved around the three people walking home at around 2 a.m. They encountered Ned Doran, who was walking in the middle of Killarney road and asked them for a smoke. Inspector Delaney told him they had none and carried on.
Moments later, a gang, including Ned Doran and John Cox, set upon them in the laneway between Killarney Road and Ardmore Park.
Two other youths blocked the lane’s entrance. Mr. Crowe was knocked to the ground with a single punch. Ms. O’Connor described blood pouring on to the ground from his head.
Inspector Delaney told the Court that the youth who had asked for a cigarette was now wearing just a t-shirt and a different male was wearing his hoody. ’I knew that you don’t swap tops unless you want to
d o something. I knew straight away from my experience and instinct that we were in trouble.’
Another assailant punched Inspector Delaney in the head as he and Ms. O’Connor stood shoulder to shoulder and kept shouting at the five youths that they had no money or smokes. John Crowe lay unconscious and bleeding at their feet.
‘His feet weren’t moving, they weren’t twitching either,’ said Inspector Delaney in evidence. ‘John didn’t even have a chance to get his hands out of his pockets. He fell like a bag of coal.’ The gang eventually ran off and Insp. Delaney heard one of them shout ‘let’s go Ned,’ or ‘Ed.’
Judge Connellan said that Insp. Delaney’s training had allowed him to stay calm and take in the features of the youths.
Both of them denied the charge, Doran claiming to have been at a party for the night and Cox claimed to have been in his cousin’s house playing playstation.
Gardai nominated the two as suspects almost immediately; based on the descriptions they were given. Both were identified later informally by Insp. Delaney, Doran outside Bray Courthouse and Cox in Shankill Garda Station. Judge Connallan said that he had no concerns that the identification of the suspects was unfair in any way.
He said he was satisfied that there was enough light in the area to see. ‘Much was made about the way the various parties were standing as though rooted to the spot,’ he said.
‘Unless the assailants were forming an orderly queue it is inconceivable that there was only one view of anyone’s face.’
‘They are to be congratulated and not castigated,’ said Judge Connellan on the alacrity at which the Gardai nominated the suspects. ‘That is their job. I do not hold with any of the submissions made by the defence.’
Noting the former juvenile status of Doran at the time of the offence, Judge Connellan adjourned both matters to April 16 for the production of a probation report.
John Cox and Edward Doran at Bray District Court.