independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Man accused of pepper spray attack in theatre pleads not guilty

Shane Carey

A 29-YEAR-OLD man is to go on trial in connection with a pepper-spray attack on audience members during a children's show at the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin in April.

Around 150 people were evacuated from the venue on April 27 last and four people were treated for injuries, but were not hospitalised, after a chemical was sprayed.

Children – some as young as six – were on stage when the alleged incident occurred. The young performers were in the Spotlight Kids, a group of 72 young people from Inchicore, in Dublin; they had staged a variety show – Fantasy Street – at the Tivoli in Francis Street for two nights as part of celebrations of the 10th anniversary of their stage school.

The group members, aged six to 18, all had to stand around outside in the car park wearing only their costumes. After 15 minutes, they were allowed into the backstage section and their show resumed about an hour later.

On May 22 last, Shane Carey, who is in receipt of a disability allowance, appeared at Dublin District Court charged under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act with having a canister of Dragon pepper spray, made for causing injury to or incapacitating a person, at the Tivoli Theatre on April 27 last.

Earlier this month, four additional counts for assaulting two males and two females at the theatre were put to Mr Carey who “made no reply” when charged.

He made his third court appearance earlier today and defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury said that she had received copies of the prosecution evidence.

She also told Judge Marie Quirke that Mr Carey, from Woodview Heights, Lucan, Dublin, was pleading not guilty to the charges and a date for the hearing would have to be set.

Mr Carey's 28-year-old girlfriend, Jenna Lawlor, who has the same address, also appeared in court as a co-defendant.

She is accused of being intoxicated in public, using threatening and abusive behaviour, and failing to comply with a garda direction at the theatre on the same date.

Judge Quirke was informed that Ms Lawlor would also be contesting the charges brought against her.

The pair did not address the court during the hearing and were remanded on bail. Their trial, which is scheduled to take place in October, is expected to last half a day of the court's sitting.

The case will be listed again in September for mention to confirm if the witnesses will be available.

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