Judge tells apprentice plumber ‘€500 for bating a fella around the road in Kinsale is not on’

Plumbers’ pay was described by a Circuit Court judge as second only to brain surgeons’ pay as he questioned why a young man raised just $500 for a victim of an assault.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin made the comments to the Cork Circuit Criminal Court in the course of Josh Arnopp’s conviction for assault.

The judge was told that the young man had brought €500 to the court to compensate his victim of abuse. When the judge commented on plumbers’ earnings, defense attorney Dermot Sheehan said Arnopp was not fully qualified and was in the fourth year of his apprenticeship.

The judge said: “£500 for hitting a guy over the road in Kinsale – don’t hit. I have no idea what’s going through his (suspicious) head. He must have known what was going to happen.

“The victim is taking a very serious look at what happened. His trust has been violated.

It’s not pleasant to let yourself clatter around Kinsale. The man who was attacked deserves to be compensated, not insulted.

The sentencing was postponed to September 24 for more compensation.

Arnopp of An Guagan, Barrack Street, Kinsale, County Cork, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault which caused harm to the other man at Short Quay in the city on January 26, 2020.

Garda Fergal Dowling said the injured party was socializing with his girlfriend. The defendant had been outside since 3 p.m. that afternoon, watching a Liverpool game on TV. Arnopp said he had eight pints, but was not legless.

The 24-year-old defendant claimed to gardaí that the injured person called him names and there was some disagreement over the nature of the exchanges between them.

When the €500 amount was first mentioned in court, Judge O’Donnabháin asked: “Is that compensation or an aggravation? A plumber is only paid less well than a brain surgeon.”

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