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KILLER THUG'S TWO ATTACKS; He admits assaults just hours before helping to kick a man to death.

Byline: NIAMH NOLAN and NIALL MOONAN

A YOUTH convicted of manslaughter pleaded guilty yesterday to two assaults which took place hours before the killing.

Thug Stephen Aherne, 19, was one of three men charged over the death of Brian Mulvaney who was chased and savagely beaten on March 11, 2000.

And yesterday the Central Criminal Court heard how he assaulted two other men on the same night.

Aherne, formerly from Dublin's Templeogue and now living in Newbridge, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Matthew O'Dowd at Templeogue Road, Terenure.

He also admitted a second assault in which he produced a drinking glass in a manner likely to intimidate Karl Dunne.

Hours later, Mr Mulvaney was attacked after a house party in Dublin.

Brian Willoughby was jailed for life for murder while the third man Neal Barbour was acquitted.

During last month's trial, it emerged that Aherne and Barbour had pint glasses when they left a 21st birthday party in Terenure to walk home.

Barbour told gardai that Aherne said: "It's fun to walk home when you're locked."

Before he met Willoughby at the Orwell Shopping Centre and joined in the fatal assault of Brian Mulvaney, Aherne was involved in the attacks on Mr O'Dowd and Mr Dunne on the Templeogue Road.

One of the men was injured when he was hit with a glass.

Mr Justice Barry White remanded Aherne in custody while victim impact reports are prepared in relation to the assaults on Mr O'Dowd and Mr Dunne.

He will sentence Aherne on both charges and for the manslaughter charge on October 13. Neal Barbour is also due to face a number of charges in June next year in relation to the alleged assaults on March 11, 2000.

Brian's parents Larry and Annie spoke out against Ireland's drink culture after Willoughby and Aherne's conviction.

Mr Mulvaney said: "He died for no reason at the hands of guys he had never met before."

CAPTION(S):

VICTIM: Brian Mulvaney; COURT: Stephen Aherne yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 27, 2003
Words:335
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