Saturday 21 October 2017

'Fat Freddie' Thompson jailed for brawl at funeral 'sparked by slagging'

Frederick Thompson
Frederick Thompson

Sonya McLean

A Dublin man has been jailed for 20 months for his part in a pub brawl “sparked by slagging” at a funeral during which a beer bottle was thrown at the victim.

Frederick Thompson (34) of Loreto Road, Maryland, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder along with two other men at Morrissey’s Pub, Cork Street, on January 7, 2013. He was extradited from Amsterdam last May and has been in custody since.

The court heard that the victim never made a complaint to gardaí and although there were many people in the pub at the time, attending a funeral, no one came forward to make witness statements.

“There was no co-operation,” Garda Seamus O’Donovan told Colm O’ Briain BL, prosecuting before he confirmed there was no victim impact report before the court.

Thompson was nominated as a suspect after gardaí viewed CCTV footage from the pub.

He has 29 previous convictions including a three year jail term for an assault causing harm and two year prison sentence for endangerment. The remainder of the offences relate to criminal damage, public order, use of a phone in prison and road traffic matters.

Read more: Fat Freddie: Profile

A second man Anthony Harte (24) of Stephen’s Road, Inchicore, also pleaded guilty to violent disorder and was previously given 220 hours community service by Judge Mary Ellen Ring in lieu of a two year prison term. He had four previous District Court convictions.

A third man who was not named in court was recently acquitted of violent disorder by a jury following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Martin Nolan said in all probability, Thompson started the row and noted that he threw a bottle at someone.

He said it was “a quite serious fracas” in which many people were involved. He backdated the sentence of 20 months to May 23, 2014 when Thompson was first remanded in custody.

Gda O’Donovan agreed with Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, that once Thompson became aware that gardaí were interested in speaking to him, his solicitor contacted them to advise that he would co-operate with the investigation.

He also confirmed that Thompson consented to the extradition and his plea was valuable to his prosecution. Mr O’Higgins asked Judge Nolan to accept that nobody was seriously injured in the fight.

He said the “event was sparked by what started out as slagging” to which his client had an unacceptable reaction to.

He told Judge Nolan that Thompson wished to offer his apologies to the court and the people in the pub at the time.

Gda O’Donovan said the footage showed Harte, Thompson and a third man together in the back area of the bar before Thompson came up to the victim, shook his hand and slapped him across the face. He then returned to Harte and the other man.

Harte was then seen walking past the man and staring at him before returning again to the group and finally the third man approached the victim and put his arm around his neck.

Gda O’Donovan said the victim stood up to this third man and Thompson and Harte joined them. Thompson then took the man into a head lock and forced him to the ground.

A large amount of people then became involved and the court heard it is not clear what role Thompson played in this melee.

This brawl broke up before the footage showed Thompson picking up a glass beer bottle, emptying it and flinging it at the victim. Harte was also seen picking up a glass bottle before Thompson ran at the victim, pushed a number of people out of the way and the third man pulled the man to the ground.

Harte could then be seen kicking and punching the man before Thompson hits an unknown woman.

Mr O’Higgins submitted that his client didn’t take advantage of the fact that people “went to ground” after the event and were willing to let it pass “as water under the bridge”.

He said his client was one of four siblings. He has done two sponsored runs and completed literacy and computing course since his remand in custody.

He has one child with his long-standing partner and his mother is in poor health.

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