Thursday 18 January 2018

Jail for man who struck French teacher with pint glass

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Fiona Ferguson

A man who started a pub fight and struck a French teacher with a pint glass causing serious facial injuries has been given a three and a half year sentence.

The victim, Thomas Gohin, described how his nose had been “cut in two” by the assault and that it took him a long time to come to accept his “new face”. He said he suffered psychological effects but could not afford counselling or surgery. He has since left his teaching job and returned to France.

Graham Quigley (45), of Avonmore Grove, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Gohin causing him harm at the Foggy Dew Public House, Temple Bar on May 7, 2015.

Quigley told gardai he had started the fight after his sister was insulted by another person in the pub. The fight then spread across the dance floor to where Mr Gohin was assaulted.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that Mr Gohin had made a decision to try to end the fight and become engaged with Quigley who struck him in the face as he held him in a head lock.

She said he suffered a scar to a prominent location on his face, as well as to his arm, but that plastic surgery was beyond his means. She said the effects of the assault had permeated every area of his life.

Judge Greally noted Quigley has since stayed out of trouble, expressed remorse and was addressing his issues around alcohol and drug use and homelessness. She imposed a three and a half year sentence suspending the final year.

Quigley has two minor convictions in Ireland as well as a number of convictions from the UK including one for grievous bodily harm and the remainder for offences such as shoplifting.

Defence counsel, Padraig Dwyer SC, said he was instructed to apologise to the victim and say that there was absolutely no justification for the assault with the glass. His client accepted he overreacted.

Quigley was on medication on the night and had drank alcohol despite being advised against it.

He asked the court to take into account Quigley's remorse, his co-operation with the prosecution, the fact he had not come to further attention, has stayed away from pubs and lived a stable lifestyle.

He said Quigley had gone to the UK when he was 18 years old and was initially in employment but became involved with the law there and began living a largely homeless and “shambolic lifestyle.”

Mr Dwyer said Quigley was now living back in his mother's home and working in a bakery.

Sergeant Paul Cooke told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that Mr Gohin had been socialising with friends in the pub and was on the dance floor when a fight broke out and spread towards him.

Mr Gohin was not involved in the initial fight but as it spread he decided to try and stop it. He said he pushed a man away and this man, Quigley, turned and tried to fight with him.

Mr Gohin said he threw a punch but was not sure if it connected and the next thing he remembered was receiving a number of blows.

A bar man described how, as staff tried to break up the fight, he saw Quigley holding Mr Gohin in a head lock and striking him in the face with a pint glass. Quigley was held until gardai arrived.

Mr Gohin said the scene was chaotic and looking at himself in a bathroom mirror afterwards he saw his face and arm were injured. He said he screamed as he saw a bone in his arm exposed.

He was brought to hospital where he got ten deep sutures and 21 skin sutures to the laceration along his arm. He received paper stitches on a wound across his nose and also suffered a cut to his forehead. Mr Gohin has since left Ireland and returned to his native France.

Quigley was arrested and interviewed. He said the fight had broken out when a person unknown to the victim had insulted his sister.

Sgt Cooke agreed with Mr Dwyer that Quigley had initially been released without charge and gardai later discovered he was living in the UK.

His fingerprints were released to Interpol and a match came up when he was arrested in Manchester. Quigley consented to being extradited back to Ireland.

Online Editors

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