Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish international has not paid over €30,000 to the man he head-butted

Anthony Stokes. Photo: Collins
Anthony Stokes. Photo: Collins

Sonya McLean and Fiona Ferguson

Irish international footballer Anthony Stokes has not paid over a €30,000 “practical expression of remorse” to a man he head butted in the VIP lounge of a Dublin nightclub, a court has heard.

Last February Stokes received a two year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to Anthony Bradley (53) at Buck Whaleys on Leeson Street, Dublin city on June 8, 2013.

Stokes currently plays for Blackburn Rovers and has nine international caps with the Irish team.

Judge Patricia Ryan in imposing sentence last February had noted that the €30,000 was being handed over by Stokes to the injured party as a “practical expression of remorse.” The court was told at that time that there were civil proceedings ongoing at the High Court.

She said on the sentence date that the “practical expression of remorse” came from Stokes and was not a condition of the suspended sentence. She noted he had expressed remorse following the offence and in court.

At that hearing defence counsel told Judge Ryan that Stokes had made arrangements for the money to be transferred in the UK and said “so it's in a sense out of his hands.” He asked the court for two weeks in relation to the money.

Anthony Bradley was assaulted by footballer Anthony Stokes
Anthony Bradley was assaulted by footballer Anthony Stokes

Judge Ryan said that if there was any problem the matter could be re-entered before the court.

On Thursday Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, told Judge Ryan he was asking the court to consider revisiting the sentence. He submitted the court had given liberty to re-enter the case if there was difficulties with the payment of money. He said the €30,000 had not been paid.

Judge Ryan said that she had given liberty to re-enter the case at that time in order to facilitate the transfer of the money. She stated that the payment of the money was not a condition of the suspended sentence.

She told Mr Collins: “I don't do compensation, you can not buy yourself out of trouble.”

Judge Ryan noted that there is a facility for the Circuit Court to make compensation orders but said she did not do that. “Compensation is a matter for the civil courts,” she said.

Judge Ryan made made “no order” in the case on Thursday.

At the original sentence hearing last February the court heard that Mr Bradley had an exchange of words with a man in Stokes' company because this man was unsteady on his feet and spilling his drink. The conversation was not considered aggressive by other witnesses.

The victim said later said that Stokes then “arrived out of nowhere”.

He said he tried to tell him everything was “okay” before Stokes head-butted him on the bridge of his nose. Mr Bradley was bleeding so badly that his friend, who was standing with him, was covered in blood. He was later treated for a fractured nose and two broken teeth.

Detective Garda Des Rogers told the court that as Stokes was being removed from the nightclub he was heard saying; “What did I do? I didn't start it. If someone puts it up to me I am going to nut them”.

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