A man who set fire to his friend's feet in a drunken prank escaped jail yesterday by offering €3,000 as a gesture of his remorse.
Martin McHugh (21), of Waterview, Turloughmnore, Co Galway, had been drinking in a pub with other young men following a funeral in Co Galway in March of last year when they decided to continue the party at a friend's house.
Gerard Duggan (24) fell asleep at the house, but woke to find his socks smouldering.
Galway Circuit Court heard that the injuries were so serious that Mr Duggan had to go to hospital. He was out of work for 13 weeks, still had tingling in his toes and his balance had been affected. In all, he lost €7,000 in wages. At a sentencing hearing yesterday the judge directedthat the money be paid to Mr Duggan and imposed a sentence of 240 hours of community service on McHugh.