Friday 30 September 2016

Enraged executive 'strangled' cyclist with helmet strap in footpath row

Andrew Phelan

Published 09/07/2016 | 02:30

Defendant David Corcoran Photo: Collins Courts
Defendant David Corcoran Photo: Collins Courts

An enraged company executive tried to "strangle" a cyclist with his helmet straps after shouldering him off his bike because the victim was using the footpath.

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David Corcoran (50) was out walking near his office on a south Dublin street when he attacked the cyclist in an over-reaction to what a court heard was a "minor nuisance".

Corcoran had been "under a bit of stress" when he knocked the man off his bike, punched him and kneed him while he was in a headlock.

Judge Michael Walsh ordered him to pay €3,130 compensation to the victim for dental injuries he suffered in the attack.

Adjourning the case, he also told the accused to make a €2,500 payment to charity and said he would strike the case out, leaving him with no criminal record.

Corcoran, of Collinswood, Whitehall, admitted assault causing harm to Philip Fitzgerald. Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Clanwilliam Terrace on July 1, 2015.

David Corcoran pictured leaving the Dublin District Court. Picture: Collins Courts
David Corcoran pictured leaving the Dublin District Court. Picture: Collins Courts

Mr Fitzgerald was cycling toward Corcoran at 10.30am when the accused shouldered him off his bicycle, causing him to fall to the ground.

Garda Brian Cleary said Corcoran punched the victim in the head and face before getting him in a headlock, causing him to be choked by the straps on his bicycle helmet.

Corcoran then kneed Mr Fitzgerald while he was in the headlock. Members of the public intervened and broke it up.

The victim told the judge he was happy with the contents of the medical report and had made a full recovery. He did not wish to give evidence.

Corcoran was working as a senior executive with a company and had no previous convictions of any kind.

He had been walking near where he worked and there was a van parked on the footpath, his solicitor Eugene Dunne said.

Instead of getting out of the way, Corcoran leaned in toward the cyclist, who came off his bike.

A confrontation took place, Mr Dunne said.

There was a problem there with people cycling on the footpath, which had happened a few times before, he continued. Corcoran accepted that he over-reacted.

He caught the cyclist, struggled with him and held onto his helmet, Mr Dunne said.

"He went further than that, he used the straps to try to strangle him," Judge Walsh said.

Mr Dunne said the straps had been under Mr Fitzgerald's chin.

"It's effective strangulation," the judge said.

The court heard the cost of the dental work was €3,130.

Of people cycling on footpaths, the judge said: "We live in a somewhat congested city and sometimes needs must."

"He should have stepped aside but to be fair, the other party shouldn't have been cycling on the footpath."

Judge Walsh said the accused's response was disproportionate to what had been "no more than a very temporary, minor nuisance."

Irish Independent

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