Tuesday 26 September 2017

Father who attacked a man singing karaoke at Christmas party spared jail

By Jessica Magee

A DUBLIN father-of-six who attacked a man who was singing karaoke at a Christmas party has been spared jail.

Charles Dillon (33) was convicted by a jury of assault causing harm to Polish national Piotr Kozub (59) at the Castle Inn Pub in Rathfarnham village on December 13, 2008.

Dillon of Tara Hill Crescent, Rathfarnham, had pleaded not (NOT) guilty to the charge at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Desmond Hogan said that Dillon has realised the consequences of his actions and is now fully aware of how his offending affects others. He suspended a three year jail sentence on condition that Dillon keeps the peace for two years and completes 240 hours of work in the community.

Judge Hogan said Dillon had been “just a bit too quick with the fists” and should have thought about it before hitting Mr Kozub.

“If he'd kept his fists in his pockets, he wouldn't be here today,” said the judge.

The court heard that Dillon had met the victim in the court house and they had shaken hands but that the victim didn’t want to meet him as part of the Restorative Justice Programme.

Judge Hogan noted that the Polish national had suffered “severe personal injuries” as a result of the assault, including black eyes and broken teeth.

The victim had to take five weeks off work and undergo dental surgery in Poland.

Dillon, who has two previous convictions for public order offences, blessed himself when Judge Hogan said he was unlikely to put him into custody.

Giving evidence during the trial, Mr Kozub told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that he had been out at a Christmas party with his co-workers from Nutgrove Shopping Centre on the night in question.

He said he was invited to sing by the man organising the karaoke night, who said no one else wanted to take part.

He said he had just begun singing a well-known Christmas song when a man came up behind him and hit him in the face. He fell on the ground and claimed the man jumped on him and continued to beat him.

He was bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth, his face was swollen and he couldn't see out of one eye.

Garda Donal Ashe said Mr Kozub was “clearly very shaken” after the assault with very visible injuries.

Dillon’s brother John had been running the karaoke in the pub that night.

Dillon told the trial that at one point his brother asked him to retrieve the microphone from a man who was trailing it around the pub and in danger of dragging equipment off a table with the lead.

He said when he asked Mr Kozub for the microphone, the Polish national replied “What's your problem?” jabbed his fingers in his chest and under his chin and threatened him.

“If somebody tells you they're going to kill you, you take it seriously. I thought he was going to hit me. My natural instinct was to defend myself,” said Dillon.

The accused said he then took a swing at Mr Kozub out of “nerves”.

Kieran Kelly BL, defending, said Dillon is one of 11 siblings and that he and his partner have six children, aged between 15 and one. He is currently unemployed but has worked previously as a lift technician and a tool-maker.

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