Tuesday 25 July 2017

Ireland soccer star acquitted of violent nightclub disorder

Left is Jonathan Doran and, right, Jeff Hendrick – who was found not guilty. Photo: Courtpix
Left is Jonathan Doran and, right, Jeff Hendrick – who was found not guilty. Photo: Courtpix

Declan Brennan and Robin Schiller

A jury has acquitted Republic of Ireland soccer player Jeff Hendrick of committing violent disorder during a nightclub row in Dublin city four years ago.

Darren McDermott claimed at Dublin Circuit Court that after a verbal row in Krystal nightclub Mr Hendrick pulled him out of a taxi. Mr McDermott said he was then chased down a lane by other men. He was assaulted in the laneway and suffered multiple fractures to his jaw and had his teeth smashed. He had emergency surgery for his injuries and is still receiving medical attention, he said.

Lawyers for Mr Hendrick said that the Premiership footballer could not have run after the taxi because he had a leg injury at the time.

They said that Mr McDermott had an agenda to destroy Mr Hendrick's career and was taking a civil case against him.

Accuser Darren McDermott. Photo: Collins
Accuser Darren McDermott. Photo: Collins

Mr Hendrick (25), originally from Kilmore Drive, Artane, Dublin, but now living in the UK, and his co-accused Jonathan Doran (26), Kilmore Close, also in Artane, had both pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at Harcourt Street, Dublin on October 12, 2013. Mr Doran also denied a separate charge of assault causing harm to Mr McDermott.

In cross-examination Mr Hendrick's defence, put it to Mr McDermott that the row broke out after he began slagging off the Irish football team and Mr Hendrick's family.

Mr McDermott had joined the group including Mr Hendrick and Mr Doran and had posed for a photograph with the footballer.

Counsel put it to Mr McDermott that he was becoming "touchy feely", and slagging off the Irish football squad.

He said when Mr Hendrick told him to "f**k off out of our group". Mr McDermott said once outside Mr Hendrick and others continued to shout at him.

Mr McDermott said that after he was pulled from the taxi he ran down a laneway. Mr Gillane said if his client could have run that night he would have been chasing Germans on the pitch.

Mr McDermott told the jury that he blamed Mr Hendrick for everything that happened to him that night.

Destroying

He admitted that he may have sent tweets to Mr Hendrick months after the row saying "I'm looking forward to destroying your career" but said he was angry at the time.

Judge Nolan remanded Mr Doran on continuing bail for sentence on July 28.

After deliberating for 29 minutes the jury found Mr Hendrick not guilty of violent disorder, but convicted Mr Doran of that offence.

Earlier in the day Judge Martin Nolan told the jury he was withdrawing the charge of assault from Mr Doran.

Irish Independent

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