Thursday 14 December 2017

Judge spares attacker jail on condition he pays victim €3,000

Fiona Ferguson

A YOUNG man who punched the assistant manager of his local pub after being asked repeatedly to leave has received a suspended sentence on condition he pay his victim €3,000.

Christopher Byrne (20), who had already been barred from the pub, broke the man’s nose with a single punch and fled the premises. He later went to a garda station and admitted the assault.

Byrne pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today to assaulting Mark Nulty causing him harm at the Clock Tower pub, Tallaght on October 23, 2010. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan said the unprovoked assault had come about as a result of Byrne feeling “irritated” at being barred. The judge imposed an 18 month sentence but suspended it on conditions including that he gather €3,000 within one year for his victim “as a token of remorse.”

Garda Rachael Kilpatrick told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that when she went to the pub Mr Nulty told her that he had been struck in the face by a man who was barred.

Mr Nulty said he had been asked by Byrne earlier that evening could he come into the bar but he refused. He later went to the area where the pool tables were and saw Byrne along with three other men who had also been barred.

He asked the men to leave but when he returned they were still there. Mr Nulty removed the cue ball from the table and when the men put money in for another game he placed a euro on the table and asked them to leave again.

Mr Nulty said that as he turned away from the table he was boxed in the face and told “I know where you live, this isn’t the end of it.” The four men then left the pub.

Gda Kilpatrick said Mr Nulty’s nose was swollen, bleeding and bent into a “C” shape. It was later examined and confirmed to be broken.

Byrne later came into the garda station and made admissions about the assault. He said the man had provoked him by calling him names. He said that he had been barred after being accused of drinking cans outside but said he had not done this.

Gda Kilpatrick agreed with Mr John Byrne BL, defending, that once his client realised what he had done he “was out the door like a shot.” She agreed that his parents were “very unimpressed.”

The defence counsel said that this was not a random attack, that there had been some tension and his client’s feeling that he had been wronged gave rise to the offence.

Counsel said Byrne, of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, had previously worked in the warehouse of a motor parts company but due to health difficulties was currently unemployed and living at home with his parents.

Counsel said there were no drink or drug issues and his client was deeply embarrassed to find himself in this position.

He submitted that Byrne was reckless as to what he had done and as someone with no prior convictions or boxing training he may not have thought through the consequences.

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