A FORMER British boxer trying to rebuild his life in Ireland after prison has been given a five-month jail term for encouraging his girlfriend to beat up a waitress who "disrespected" him.
Billy Isaac (45) was jailed along with Siobhan Ginty (23), who was handed a four-month prison term for what a district court judge described as "a shocking display of thuggery".
Isaac was jailed for three years in Manchester in 2005 for possession of revolver ammunition. In separate British trials over the past decade, he was acquitted of murder, blackmail and assault.
In 2010 he was also acquitted of threatening to kill an English businessman's wife and children if he did not hand over £2.5m (€3m).
That acquittal came after he received a character reference from world champion boxer Ricky Hatton.
Isaac relocated to west Cork, where he has family connections, in a bid to start a new life.
However, Bantry District Court heard that last April 7 he was with Ginty in the Gateway bistro in Durrus, west Cork, when he felt he was "disrespected" by waitress Lucie Kopecka (31).
Isaac believed the waitress, busy with other customers, did not serve him quickly enough.
He then encouraged Ginty to "show her", and she punched the waitress in the face.
"I felt disrespected and said that a number of times to Siobhan. I went home in that frame of mind," he said. "I take full responsibility for what happened that night. I feel terrible about what happened."
Both Isaac and Ginty admitted the assault.
Supt Mick Fitzpatrick said the waitress received a call from Ginty that was very insulting.
"She shouted at her, 'You did not respect my man'," he said. "They both came back and went into the smoking room.
"Lucie said Siobhan was shouting, 'Do you know how much you disrespected my man? No one disrespects my man'.
"Billy told her, 'Show her Siobhan'. She then proceeded to punch the waitress full in the face three or four times and then on the side of her head causing her earring to fall off."
Supt Fitzgerald said the waitress was deeply upset by the incident.
"She (Ginty) started to wrestle and kick her," he said. "Billy had the door of the smoking room blocked. Eventually, the attack ended up in the kitchen where Billy said, 'Finish her off, and do it properly this time'."
Ms Kopecka had to attend a doctor to have her injuries treated. She has been unable to work since the incident.
Judge McNulty was told Isaac and Ginty had lodged €500 in court as compensation, but he said it was "too little, too late".
The judge viewed CCTV footage of the incident and said he was appalled by what the waitress had suffered.
"This was a truly shocking display of thuggery and violence perpetrated on an innocent person," he said.
He added that working people needed to be protected from "bullies and thugs".
"No one is entitled to beat and pulverise someone else," he said.
"She (Ginty) was egged on and prompted by her bully boy boyfriend and what happened was truly shocking and life-changing for the victim."
The judge jailed Ginty for four months for assault and threatening and abusive behaviour.
He jailed Isaac for five months for assaulting both Ms Kopecka and Gateway chef Christophe Zilliox as well as engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour.
By Ralph Riegel