Thursday 26 April 2018

Collins says bouncer's case 'all about money'

Former boxer claims conspiracy in court

Nicola Donnelly and Aoife Nic Ardghail

Former boxing world champion Steve Collins claimed yesterday a bouncer accusing him of assault was in a money-making conspiracy.

Mr Collins (46) told the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that he believed a criminal case against him was "all about money" and that Adriatik Vodo and his employer Sean Jordan were conspiring together.

Mr Collins, in response to a question from Patrick McGrath, prosecuting, added that he had given gardai details of comments and recordings of phone conversations between people in the alleged conspiracy.

Mr Collins of St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Vodo on June 3, 2006, at the National Stadium, South Circular Road, Dublin.

Mr Collins confirmed he believed both Mr Vodo and Mr Jordan were involved in the alleged money-making conspiracy, but told Mr McGrath he had no evidence against any other parties "as yet".

He agreed when Mr McGrath put evidence he gave to him at a previous trial about Mr Vodo appearing 20lb bigger on the night and his assertion that the doorman had been on steroids.


Mr Collins told Mr McGrath he would "stand by" the evidence he gave that the 39-year-old's appearance and "almost blind aggression" had given the impression of a "steroid head".

Earlier, Mr Collins told his counsel, Pat Purcell, Mr Vodo had "manhandled" him while refusing him re-entry to the stadium to finish commentary on a Bernard Dunne fight.

Mr Collins said he had no formal accreditation to gain entry into the stadium, but that he had been employed by RTE to commentate on numerous fights.

Mr Collins explained that he had left the stadium to get some fresh air but returned two minutes later to come back in using the same door. He said he was "very relaxed and jolly" as he made his way back into the stadium but was then stopped by the doorman, Mr Vodo.

"He stopped me and then put his hands on my chest and started to manhandle me," Mr Collins said.

"I explained to him that I was working for RTE and other people around me were telling him who I was. The bouncer (Mr Vodo) started holding me and pushing me. I realised he was not listening to me and he was getting out of hand."

He said Gavin Blanchfield, head of security, arrived and told Mr Vodo to let him into the stadium.

Mr Collins said Mr Vodo became more aggressive.

"He then thumped me in the chest with force and then I realised he had lost it and I felt it was a dangerous situation as Mr Vodo seemed deaf to instruction and was looking at me with anger," Mr Collins said.

"He went to grab my shirt and my initial reaction was to break away his grip with my left arm. I brought my left hand up with force to break him away from me and I made contact with his mouth."

Mr Collins denied that he acted like "a caged animal".

The trial continues before Judge Anthony Hunt and a jury of six men and six women.

Irish Independent

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