HARDY Bucks actor Martin Maloney was today cleared of attacking two doormen during a row when he was making an appearance at a popular Dublin pub.
The 30-year-old, from Bollingbrook Drive, Swinford, Co. Mayo but now living in Sweden with his wife and child, walked free after Dublin District Court Judge Ann Watkin said she did not believe the two bouncers' evidence which was contradicted by security camera footage.
The actor pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Brian Smith and Mark O'Shaughnessy, at The Big Tree pub, on October 9, 2012.
Mr Maloney had been making a public appearance and was DJing at the Big Tree when he became involved in an altercation with security staff member Brian Smith over the queuing system at the toilets and the route back to the stage area.
The prosecution had alleged he grabbed Mr Smith in a headlock from behind and held him on the ground before punching him repeatedly. It was also alleged the actor was being forcibly removed when he struck Mr O'Shaughnessy with a kick.
However, the judge found the actor not guilty after she viewed CCTV evidence which contradicted their evidence as well as that of other prosecution witnesses.
Mr Smith had alleged he had been at a balcony when he was grabbed from behind by the actor, put in a headlock and punched 20 to 30 times to his head.
However, in CCTV evidence he was shown in a face-to-face confrontation with the actor, before there was a tussle and one punch could be seen thrown at the security man, the judge said.
Mr O'Shaughnessy had claimed that the defendant was acting aggressively and had to be forcibly removed via a fire-exit. He also claimed that when he was unlocking the exit's double doors he was kicked by the actor who had been screaming.
Howeve, Judge Watkin noted from the CCTV evidence that Mr Maloney was not being restrained, was calm and silent at that point, there was no kick and once the door was opened he proceeded to walk out voluntarily.
The footage also showed him being pinned on the street outside before he was brought back inside by the venue's security men and held there until gardai arrived.
In cross-examination with defence counsel Cathal O'Braonain put to the security men that CCTV evidence did not support their evidence.
Dismissing the case, the judge said Mr Smith lied and his claims of being grabbed from behind near a balcony, “clearly did not happen”. She also said “I do not know whether the accused was defending himself and resisting being thrown to the ground by a stroppy doorman”.
“You had him held by the shirt, he did not grab you,” she said adding that afterwards both Mr Smith and the accused were wrapped around each other. She added that she could only see one punch but it was not clear what had provoked it.
The judge said Mr O'Shaughnessy gave evidence of being kicked when he was opening the fire exit but the footage showed “that did not happen” and she added that other prosecution witnesses had given “a lot of strange stories”.
She said while the defendant did not behave well she had at least a reasonable doubt, adding, “more than reasonable” and she acquitted him.
Maloney became famous for playing the role of Eddie Durkan in the hit mock documentary programme which was set in a west of Ireland town and followed the antics of five down on their luck young men.
The popular cult comedy started out as “webisodes” broadcast online but was later picked up by RTE and the cast also went on to star in the feature film titled The Hardy Bucks Movie which became a box office hit in Irish cinemas.