Sunday 24 September 2017

Groom-to-be who glassed man during stag night at Dublin venue avoids jail term

Howl at the Moon
Howl at the Moon

Sonya McLean and Aaron Rogan

A man out celebrating his stag in Dublin has avoided a jail term for hitting another man in the face with a glass.

Karl Harffy (34) was in Howl at the Moon on Merrion Square when Ronan Flood accidentally bumped into him. Harffy first punched the man in the face before hitting him a second time with a glass.

The court heard that while Mr Flood (24) only sustained small cuts which were closed with paper stitches, there were concerns that his eye could have been damaged.

He was seen at the Eye and Ear Hospital where it was confirmed that no shards of glass had penetrated his eye.

Harffy was nominated as a suspect after a barman who witnessed the assault pointed him out to gardaí. He later told gardaí in interview that the victim was aggressive and confrontational.

He claimed he had acted in self defence and that Mr Flood and his friends had been provoking him.

Harffy, who is originally from Manchester, but now living in Kintyre Park, Ballymena, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm on December 1, 2013. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Harffy to two years, suspended in full and ordered him to pay €3,000 to the victim with 18 months.

He said “being drunk is no excuse, if you’re drunk you’re responsible” but noted that it was his first offence and that he seemed to be a hard working man who had gotten married since the incident.

Judge Nolan said people “perceive slights where there are none” when drunk.

Garda James McHugh said Harffy was “extremely inebriated” when he was arrested and was not fit for interview until a number of hours afterwards.

Harffy said that he had no recollection of the incident but accepted responsibility and was “shocked and ashamed” when he found out a glass had been used.

He said he had been out on his own stag night and was not there to cause trouble, telling gardaí that his behaviour was out of character.

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