Tuesday 20 February 2018

Company executive who knocked cyclist off bike and choked him for riding on footpath spared criminal record

The cyclist was riding on a footpath. Stock photo
The cyclist was riding on a footpath. Stock photo

Andrew Phelan

A COMPANY executive has avoided a criminal record after he shouldered a cyclist off his bike and choked him with his helmet straps because the victim was riding along the footpath.

David Corcoran (51) walked from court with no conviction or sentence for the attack after he paid out €3,930 in compensation for the cyclist's dental injuries and another €2,500 charity donation.

Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out at Dublin District Court. He had remarked that the assault was an over-reaction to what was a "minor nuisance."

Corcoran, of Collinswood, Whitehall, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the victim, Philip Fitzgerald.

Previously, the court heard the incident happened at Clanwilliam Terrace in south Dublin, where Corcoran was out walking on July 1, 2015.

Mr Fitzgerald was cycling toward Corcoran at 10.30am when the accused shouldered him off his bicycle, causing him to fall to the ground.

Garda Brian Cleary said Corcoran punched the victim in the head and face before getting him in a headlock, causing him to be choked by the straps on his bicycle helmet.

Corcoran then kneed Mr Fitzgerald while he was in the headlock.

Members of the public intervened and broke it up.

The victim told the judge he was happy with the contents of the medical report and had made a full recovery. He did not wish to give evidence.

Corcoran was working as a senior executive with a company and had no previous convictions of any kind.

He had been walking near where he worked and there was a van parked on the footpath, his solicitor Eugene Dunne said.

Instead of getting out of the way, Corcoran leaned in toward the cyclist, who came off his bike. A confrontation took place, Mr Dunne said.

There was a problem there with people cycling on the footpath, which had happened a few times before, he continued. Corcoran accepted that he over-reacted.

He caught the cyclist, struggled with him and held onto his helmet, Mr Dunne said.

“He went further than that, he used the straps to try to strangle him,” Judge Walsh said.

Mr Dunne said the straps had been under Mr Fitzgerald's chin during the incident.

Of people cycling on footpaths, the judge said: “we live in a somewhat congested city and sometimes needs must.”

“He should have stepped aside but to be fair, the other party shouldn’t have been cycling on the footpath,” Mr Dunne said.

Judge Walsh said the accused’s response was disproportionate to what had been “no more than a very temporary, minor nuisance.”

Mr Dunne said there had been no pre-meditation.

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