Sunday 22 April 2018

Brothers avoid jail for assaulting man over girlfriend fling

Nicola Donnelly

TWO brothers from Dalky have avoided jail for assaulting a man over 'a fling' he had with one of their girlfriends.

Adam Duke (21) of Hillside in Dalkey has been given an eight month suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to assault causing harm to James Morris at The Twisted Pepper Nightclub on Middle Abbey Street on December 30, 2012.

His brother Morgan (23), of the same address, has been bound to the peace for 12 months after pleading guilty to assault. They were also ordered to pay €6,000 in compensation between them to Mr Morris.

Garda Niall McCormack told prosecuting counsel Anne Rowland BL that Mr Morris had gone to the nightclub with his friends. The Duke brothers were also there with Adam's then-girlfriend, with whom Mr Morris had a ‘brief fling’ with the previous year.

Mr Morris had attempted to settle things with Adam and had told gardai he thought they had shaken hands on the situation.

However, a friend of Mr Morris later went to the toilet and saw a fight in progress. Another friend pulled away Morgan while Adam repeatedly kicked the victim in the head and face as he lay on the ground.

The brothers then left the nightclub and were chased by bouncers who informed gardai of the incident.

Mr Morris was taken to the Mater Hospital where he was disorientated and had no recollection of the incident. He was treated overnight for injuries including a large bruise over his forehead and eye.

Gardai stopped the brothers on Middle Abbey Street. Gda McCormack agreed with defence counsel for Adam Duke, Justin McQuade BL, that the victim and the brothers were known to each other.

“There was history between the young lady and Mr Morris and Adam Duke and the infidelity hurt Mr Duke, which has been acknowledged by Mr Morris,” said counsel.

“Tensions came to a head that night and although it was a 'personal matter' it doesn't justify the incident.”

Counsel for Morgan Duke, Patrick Reynolds, BL, said his client, who is currently studying for a BA in Business Studies, became protective of his younger brother on the night.

“It is a regrettable incident but not a licence to engage in such behaviour,” said Mr Reynolds. Morgan had €1,000 in compensation for Mr Morris while Adam had €5,000.

Both brothers had previously attended Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock and have no previous convictions.

Judge Carmel Stewart said and it is fortunate that Mr Morris' injuries were less serious than initially feared.

“The background to this is a common-shared girlfriend which is neither here nor there and there is no justification to the violence,” said Judge Stewart.

On handing down the sentences, Judge Stewart said she was giving both brothers “the opportunity to make the most of their lives.”

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