Collins cleared of assaulting doorman at boxing event
FORMER world champion boxer Steve Collins hugged supporters and said he was massively relieved after he was found not guilty of assaulting a bouncer.
A jury of six men and six women yesterday acquitted him of assault causing harm to Adriatik Vodo at the National Stadium on June 3, 2006.
An emotional Mr Collins told how his reputation had now been reinstated after a four-day trial which had been a massive ordeal for himself and his family.
He denied assaulting Mr Vodo four years ago when trying to gain entry to the stadium where he was commentating on a boxing match.
"This has been hanging over me for four years. It has been very stressful personally," he said outside of court following the decision. "It has been extremely stressful for my mother and my children and my wife and my family."
Mr Collins, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, showed no emotion when the jury foreman returned the not guilty verdict, but warmly hugged friends when he left the Circuit Criminal Court, Dublin, yesterday afternoon.
Mr Vodo had claimed Mr Collins had pushed him on the night in question when he asked for identification, saying: "Do you know my name?" and threatened to "break his head and put his teeth on the floor".
He then claimed Mr Collins hit him in the teeth.
However, Mr Collins said he had left the stadium to get some fresh air during the boxing match but was stopped from re-entering by Mr Vodo.
He claimed the doorman pushed him away even though he had been told Mr Collins was working for RTE.
Mr Collins said Mr Vodo had thumped him in the chest after which he brought up his left hand to stop the doorman and made contact with his mouth.
During his evidence in the case, Mr Collins said he had been acting in self-defence.
He denied, under cross-examination, that he had used bad language and acted like "a caged animal" after he was refused re-entry.
The doorman was recalled to the witness box after Mr Collins accused the doorman and his former employer of being involved in a money-making conspiracy against him, which Mr Vodo later denied in court.
After the verdict yesterday, Mr Collins said he had no regrets about the incident.
"I'm a professional fighter, everyone has the right to defend themselves.
"The level of defence, to me, was very restrained. I was very disciplined," he added outside court.
"I have the ability to do a lot and my reaction was the instant reaction of self-defence and a very limited one at that."
He also thanked his legal team and the jury, saying: "The only way to go in these situations is to go the legal way and that is the way I have gone today and thank God it paid off and it came true in the end."
Mr Collins, a former WBO world middleweight and super middleweight champion, said he was going to "park that" when questioned about allegations of a conspiracy against him.