Man jailed for racist attack that left victim disfigured

 

A DUBLIN father has been jailed for his role in a racist assault on an African PhD student which has left his victim permanently disfigured and blind in one eye.

Luke Casey (25) beat Mapfumo Cuidzambwa (30) with a hurley about his body while his co-accused, Stephen Mooney (24), struck his head a number of times with a golf club, breaking the unarmed victim’s facial bones and sinking his right eye into its socket.

Witnesses to the assault told gardaí that Mooney could be heard shouting “Do you want to see me crack a nigger’s skull?” Mooney, Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, was jailed for four years last July. He is also serving a 4½-year sentence for attempting to rape a woman at a house party while he was on bail for the assault.

Casey, Greenfort Gardens, Clondalkin, was jailed for three years and nine months yesterday by Judge Patricia Ryan after she twice stated that the maximum penalty available to the court was five years.

She said she had to reduce the sentence on the basis of Casey’s guilty plea, and also took into account the State’s evidence that it was Mooney who had inflicted the serious injuries and who had instigated the attack.

Both men pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Cuidzambwa causing him harm and criminal damage of two cars at Greenfort Lawns in the early hours of October 1st, 2006.

Det Garda Paul Kelly told Tony McGillicuddy, prosecuting, that Mooney and Casey had been at the same house party as Mr Cuidzambwa in Clondalkin, along with a number of Zimbabwean nationals.

Mooney was asked to leave after he made unwelcome advances to a number of the women at the gathering. He took exception to this and both he and Casey damaged a number of vehicles that were parked outside the house.

The party-goers went out to investigate but Mr Cuidzambwa was heading for home with his uncle when he was set upon.

Mr Cuidzambwa had moved to Ireland from Zimbabwe in 2001 to study electronic engineering in UCD. He was studying for a PhD in wireless communication when he was attacked.

His victim impact report stated he had had to live with the horror of the assault daily and was reminded of it every time he saw his facial scars whenever he passed a reflective surface.

He described the attack as happening in “a racially charged environment”. He had had to take a year out from his doctorate studies and when he returned there was no longer funding available and he was forced to scale down to a master’s degree.

Judge Ryan said Mr Cuidzambwa had been left with a major cosmetic defect which caused him concern, distress and suffering and which had also impaired his studies and ability to find work, even though he was highly qualified.