Shocking footage shows Irish pair brutally attack Bristol man in case of mistaken identity

The defence said that the two men had mistaken the victim for someone who had 'insulted their heritage'

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The Independent Online

A video has been released showing the brutal attack by two Irish travellers on a man in Bristol after they mistakenly believed that he had insulted their heritage.

The footage taken from surveillance cameras last July, shows brothers Gerald Connors, 20, and Michael O’Connor, 18, repeatedly punching and kicking victim Daniel Athey after they believed he had been abusive to them earlier that day.

Both Connors and O’Connor had been drinking in Bristol on 27 July last year, when they came across a group of friends, including Athey, outside of a shop in Bristol’s city centre.The video shows the two men square up and shout at Athey in what they say was a case of “mistaken identity.”

O’Connor is then seen launching into an attack, hitting Athey with a number of punches.

Connors joins in moments later and is seen attempting to kick Athey in the head.

A bloodied Athey is able to escape the attack, but O’Connor and Connors can still be seen shouting abuse at Athey and his friends.

Following the attack, CCTV footage captures the men and another man trying to flag down a taxi, before walking off.

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The pair were later seen trying to hail down a cab as they walked away from the scene

Athey was taken to hospital and received treatment for a cut above his eye.

The two men escaped jail on Friday at hearing at Bristol Crown Court, but were given nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor, Kenneth Bell, said that Athey was “defenceless” during the attack and that there was an element of “pre-meditation” to the attacks.

Catharine Spedding, who was defending O’Connor and Connors, said that the attack had occurred after the two men were provoked earlier in the day.

She said the assault was “out of character” and that the two men “bitterly regretted” what they had done.

Judge William Hart said that the “young age” of the two men and their lack of “previous convictions for violence” had saved them from a custodial sentence.