Celtic FC star Anthony Stokes sent forward for trial over alleged nightclub attack
REPUBLIC of Ireland and Celtic striker Anthony Stokes has been sent forward for trial accused of head-butting a man in a Dublin nightclub.
The striker has been charged with assaulting Ballyfermot Elvis impersonator Anthony Bradley, 42, during an alleged row about a spilled drink, at Buck Whaley's, on Leeson Street, on June 8 last year.
Today, at Dublin District Court a book of evidence was served on him by arresting Garda Noel Gibbons.
Judge Michael Walsh told the footballer that he was now being returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he is to face his next hearing on October 10 next.
He has not yet entered a plea.
Stokes, dressed in grey suit and white shirt, was also given the standard warning that if he intended to rely on an alibi in his defence he must, “furnish the particulars to the prosecution within 14 days”.
The Celtic star, who was accompanied to court by his father John Stokes, nodded and said “yes” when asked if he understood.
The judge also ordered copies of video evidence to be handed over to the defence.
The striker's solicitor Michael Staines said that if his client is unable to attend court on the next date he will notify Det Garda Des Rogers of Pearse Street Garda station. Mr Staines also told Judge Walsh that free legal aid was not required.
Stokes, 26, who is from Dublin, is charged with assault causing harm to Mr Bradley.
The DPP had originally directed “summary disposal” meaning the district court would be a suitable trial venue, however during a preliminary hearing on May 29 last, Judge Conal Gibbons, then presiding, did not agree.
A summary of the allegations and medical reports on the complainant's injuries had been furnished leading to his ruling that the case was too serious to be dealt with at district court level which, on conviction, can impose a maximum sentence of 12 months for the alleged offence.
This means Stokes, who lives at Bellhaven Terrace, Glasgow, must faces a trial before a judge and jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.
In an outline of the evidence, Det Garda Des Rogers had told the district court earlier that it was alleged that on June 8, 2013, at Buck Whaley's nightclub, “another unknown individual spilled a drink on the injured party and it is alleged Mr Stokes intervened and head-butted the injured party”.
Two medical reports were then handed into court.
Refusing jurisdiction Judge Conal Gibbons had said, “I have to say to you that based on these medical reports I do not think it is a minor offence.”
The details of the injuries have not been read out in court but Judge Gibbons had said that if they were such as described in the reports, “to my mind this is not a suitable case for the district court”.
“This is a court of summary jurisdiction, I'm going to refuse jurisdiction, I do not think it is an appropriate case,” Judge Gibbons had added.
The 26-year-old striker had originally met investigating gardai by appointment in Dublin on March 6 last when the charge was put to him after which he “made no reply to caution”.