A former leader of the now defunct Galway branch of the Outlaw Biker Club has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay €7,500 to the Irish Red Cross for his role in the punishment-style beating of another club member almost seven years ago.
Trevor Condon (50), 115 Castlelawn Heights, Headford Road, who persuaded three others to join in the assault because the victim owed him money, received a five-year sentence which was suspended for five years on condition he pay €7,500 to the Irish Red Cross, following a two-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court this week.
Condon, along with co-accused, James Clancy (47), 1 Bin Sinn, Knocknacarra, and Brendan Ryan (51), from Ardfinnan, Tipperary, had initially pleaded not guilty last week to assaulting Paul McGuire, causing him harm at Bike Tech, Ballybane Industrial Estate, on February 8, 2011.
Condon and Ryan pleaded not guilty to using metal bars to beat McGuire while Clancy denied using a bike chain along with a sock containing a metal buckle to assault the victim.
Following legal argument in the absence of the jury on the first day of the trial and behind-the-scenes discussions between both the prosecution and defence legal teams on the second day, all three accused entered into a plea-bargain and changed their pleas to guilty to the single charge of assaulting McGuire, causing him harm.
The jury was discharged and each of the accused received a five-year suspended sentence but Condon, who was the ringleader, was ordered to pay €7,500 to the Red Cross as a condition of his suspended sentence.
A statement taken by Gardai in 2013 from a fourth accused, who also took part in the assault, triggered the prosecution being taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions against the three men and that, along with the victim’s lack of co-operation, explained the delay in bringing the matter to trial.
Tattooist, Jeremy Berger (28), from Dublin, who was living in Galway at the time, pleaded guilty before the same court in 2012, to assaulting McGuire, causing him harm and paid him €10,000 compensation.
Mr McGuire, who was 45 at the time, suffered a broken left ankle and leg and a broken right arm in the assault after four masked men who were all wearing biker gear with the Outlaw insignia on it, entered his shop and beat him with iron bars and a sock containing a belt buckle.
Berger pepper-sprayed the victim and when he fell to the ground, all four set about beating him.
Berger was captured on the shop’s CCTV pulling his mask off during the assault and he was identified from a colourful tattoo on the back of his skull.
He told Gardai he was trying to join the Galway Chapter of the Outlaw Bikers Club at the time. He had been pressured into taking part in the beating and was told it would be part of his initiation into the club.
Investigating Garda, Pat Foley, told the court in 2012 and again last week that the Galway chapter of the Outlaw Biker Club disbanded after this assault came to light. McGuire, he said, moved to Canada shortly afterwards and had refused to co-operate with the Garda investigation in any way.
He said Condon was president of the Galway chapter of the Outlaws at the time and he had orchestrated the attack because McGuire owed him money.
“He (Condon) got the three others to partake in it, saying it was authorised under the auspices of the Outlaw Club, but that was not the case. They felt they were obligated to take part in the assault,” Garda Foley said.
Both Ryan and Clancy, who have serious medical conditions and are in receipt of disability, told the court they were unable to pay compensation but would pay €1,000 each if given time.
Condon offered to pay €5,000 compensation to McGuire’s creditors or to a charity.
Judge Rory McCabe directed Condon pay €7,500 to the Irish Red Cross adding: “Mr Condon is experienced in the business of debt collection and if he wishes to procure the debt from the other two that is his business.”