Two men jailed for assault that left chef without sense of taste
Two young men who were involved in an attack on a group of friends, which left a Spanish chef without a sense of taste, have been jailed for three years and 18 months.
Shane Cotter (20), Annmount, Friars' Walk, Cork, was sentenced to four years in jail with a year suspended after he pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Jordi Roca (40) at White Street, Cork, on January 23rd, 2012.
Danny O'Brien (20), Brandon Cottages, Dillon's Cross, Cork, was sentenced to 30 months in jail with 12 months suspended after he pleaded guilty to violent disorder arising from the same incident.
Det Garda Stephen Fuller told how Mr Roca and four friends, three Spanish and one Romanian, were attacked after they refused cigarettes to two girls at White Street and three males then joined in and began attacking them.
Mr Roca was trying to pacify the situation when O'Brien fetched a golf club from the boot of his BMW and Cotter took it from him and smashed it into the side of Mr Roca's head, fracturing his skull and knocking him unconscious.
Mr Roca was removed by paramedics to Cork University Hospital and he regained consciousness the next morning, Det Garda Fuller said. He underwent emergency surgery to repair the damage to his skull.
Neither Cotter nor O'Brien were drinking or taking drugs at the time of the attack.
Cotter later told gardaí in an interview that he intended killing Mr Roca on the night, the court heard. "I was in a temper, I wanted to kill him," he told gardaí.
Both men apologised for the attack on Mr Roca.
Cotter told Judge Patrick Moran he was the person who attacked Mr Roca and O'Brien should not be punished for what he had done.
The judge noted that Cotter had 49 previous convictions, including five for assault causing harm, while O'Brien had 84 previous convictions. He was still at a loss as to why they had attacked Mr Roca and his friends.
Afterwards, Mr Roca said the sentences were far too lenient for the violent assault.
"I am not happy with these sentences. I have no sense of taste as a result of this attack - if you owned a restaurant, would you employ a chef who cannot taste what he cooks?
"This is what I have to live with for the rest of my life," he added.