Section 3 Assault - Chances of conviction


New Member
Hi, a friend has recently been charged with Section 3 assault in Ireland. This is a first time offence which occurred by being threatened and aggravated. The accused is a middle aged well thought of business person and as said, no previous offences. The victim however is a well known bully (Not sure if that will matter in court). The case is being heard in the District Court. The injuries were quite serious, even though they were only hit twice. There is an obvious concern the accused will now receive a custodial sentence. Just wondering what others views on this are, given the background. Thank you.


Frequent Poster
' The injuries were quite serious'.... so it's a serious assault. Aggravating circumstances aside i imagine a custodial sentence is definitely a possibility. Of course as we all know it's the judge on the day that will be a huge factor. But also the garda and the background. Suppose expect the worst and hope for the best. What does the solicitor/barrister think?


Frequent Poster
A serious assault. Two blows struck. The evidence will be important as it will show what led a well regarded middle aged man to strike out twice at a person. Has the "bully"any previous conviction particularly for violence? Could the case be made for self defence out of fear?
The legal team will advise on the likelihood of contesting the charge and being successful.
If pleading guilty the circumstances will play a big part in the sentence. An offer of compensation, no previous convictions, age, no likelihood of repeat offending, remorse etcwill always influence the severity of a sentence.
This Section 3 is a serious assault but still not serious enough for the DPP. to send to the Circuit Court.
The Garda file would have given the DPP a good idea of the accuseds background and approach to the charge. I could see a suspended sentence but "bully" might then go chasing a civil case for injuries seeking compensation


Frequent Poster
As it is being dealt with on a summary basis - District Court - there will be no book of evidence.
However, the defendant's should be able to get discovery of relevant information from the prosecution before having to make a decision on how to plead.

Even though this is a DC case a DJ might take a view that the matter is of a degree of seriousness that warrants sentencing in the Circuit Court.
If so, the DJ could refuse jurisdiction and order that the matter is sent forward to the Circuit Court for sentencing.
This does not automatically mean that the defendant will receive a sentence above that which might have been imposed in the DC.

The fact that the complainant is a well known bully will probably be of no evidentiary value unless it can be shown that there has been a pattern of conduct that constitutes provocation. Even then, you would want to show some very convincing evidence to make that defence fly.

Generally, the issue of guilt will be based on the specific facts of what actually occurred on the instant. Much will depend on how good the evidence is.