By Isabel Hayes
A community volunteer who took part in a revenge attack on a man who previously assaulted him, leaving the victim with a bleed to the brain, has been given a suspended sentence.
Lee Lismore was one of three men who punched, kicked and stabbed a man with an unknown implement at Smithfield, Dublin in April 2021.
The victim in the case was left with a bleed to the brain requiring internal and external stitches, as well as stab wounds to his torso, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.
Lismore (54) pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm to the man at Smithfield Square, Dublin on April 3, 2021. A further count of violent disorder was taken into consideration.
Lismore, of Smithfield Terrace, Dublin, has no previous convictions.
The other men in the case are not before the court.
The court heard that four days prior to the assault, Lismore was himself the victim of an unprovoked assault, which was allegedly carried out by the victim in this case.
That matter is still under investigation by gardaí.
Garda Antony Hutton told Aoife O’Leary BL, prosecuting, that on the morning of the day in question, the victim was leaving his home in Smithfield to get a sandwich when the door of his apartment block was suddenly closed behind him by two men.
One of these men shouted: “Dad, is that him?” before Lismore also arrived at the scene, and the three men started hitting and kicking the man, the court heard.
One of the men was shouting: “Kill him, kill him,” as the victim asked them to stop.
At the end of the assault, Lismore said to the victim: “Look at me. Don’t ever forget my face or what you did to me. I’ll kill you next time.”
CCTV footage of the assault was played in court, which showed one man taking a running kick at the victim as he lay on the ground.
He was taken to hospital where staff said he had multiple stab wounds to his side.
The victim had not been aware of being stabbed during the attack, the court heard. He had suffered a bleed to the brain and required 18 stitches to the head – eight stitches internally and 10 stitches externally, the court heard.
No victim impact statement was in court.
The man moved out of the Smithfield area immediately after the attack, the court heard.
Lismore was arrested and cooperated with gardaí. He told them that he had been on his bike at the supermarket in Smithfield a few days earlier when he was knocked off his bike by the man and a beer can was thrown at his eye.
He had never met this man before.
Lismore told gardaí that he then saw the other man by chance and he and two other men – who he said he didn’t know – attacked the man on the “spur of the moment”.
Eoghan Weldon BL, defending, told the court that Lismore has lived in Smithfield for 50 years. He has a partner and two adult children.
Mr Weldon said Lismore worked as an insulator for 28 years and now works at a community centre.
He volunteers in the community and the local sports club and was described as an “asset to the community”.
A number of testimonials were handed in and a number of supporters were in court to support Lismore.
Mr Weldon handed in a letter of apology from Lismore and said his client had €3,000 in court as a token of his remorse for the victim.
He had a “rush of blood to the head” on the day in question and he “can’t express his remorse enough”, counsel said.
Sentencing Lismore yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan said it was clear Lismore was seeking to “extract some kind of revenge” on the victim for the earlier assault.
He said an implement of some kind was used and it was a “bad assault”.
“What he did was terribly wrong,” the judge said.
The judge noted that there was strong mitigation in the case, including a lack of previous convictions, Lismore’s cooperation with gardaí, his guilty plea and his “long history of contributions to the community”.
He handed down a sentence of three years and suspended it on a number of conditions, including that Lismore hand over €3,000 for his victim.