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Man (27) sentenced to four years in jail for nightclub glass attack that left another man permanently scarred


The Wright Venue in Swords.

The Wright Venue in Swords.

The Wright Venue in Swords.

A man who struck another man's face with a glass leaving him permanently scarred has been sentenced to four years in prison at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Ciaran Gilford (27) pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm at the Wright Venue, Airside in Swords on December 1, 2012.

The court heard that Mr Stephen Doyle (42) suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, permanent scarring and continuing numbness in his left jaw after his face was slashed with a glass in an unprovoked assault.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring suspended the final 18 months of the four-year sentence in light of Gilford's guilty plea and his cooperation with gardaí.

She ordered that Gilford continue to take medication to treat ADHD and depression while in custody.

Gilford, of Newbrook Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13, handed over the sum of €3,000 as a gesture of compensation to his victim.

The court heard that Gilford swung a glass at Mr Doyle after an alleged argument over pints.

Gda Karen Duffy told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that the victim had attended a boxing convention in the Wright Venue with some friends on the night.

Mr Doyle's friend who witnessed the assault said he had been approached by Gilford who asked him where he got his pints. He told Gilford they were his and he had got them from the bar.

He said Gilford had an aggressive posture, appeared drunk and hyper. He said Gilford came close to his face and asked him to hit him but he did not react. He said he called a friend who had bought the drinks and then Mr Doyle came back from the toilet asking what was going on.

Gilford took a glass from a table behind him and hit Mr Doyle.

Both men tumbled to the ground and had to be separated before Mr Doyle was taken to Beaumont Hospital bleeding heavily from two open wounds on his face.

Security staff described Gilford as very aggressive. They held him until gardai arrived.

Medical reports showed that Mr Doyle received stitches, was on a liquid diet for a time, and is awaiting further surgery for scar revision.

Gilford was later arrested by appointment and told gardaí he had no memory of the incident.

When shown CCTV footage, he was horrified by his behaviour and apologised, saying he was not a violent person.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending Gilford, said medical evidence could explain her client's “irrational, unjustified and disproportionate” reaction to an argument over pints.

Psychiatrist Dr Sean O'Domhnaill told the court that Gilford suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from an incident in 2007 when he had nearly died.

Gilford had been climbing over railings when he slipped and became impaled through the neck on a spike, remaining suspended for a period of time.

He said Gilford thought he was dying, and continues to suffer nightmares and flashbacks of the event seven years later.

Gilford was also diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but had never been treated due to his parents' reluctance to give him Ritalin.

The court heard that he is now on medication and has not drunk alcohol for six months.

Gilford has two previous minor convictions for intoxication.

Judge Ring ordered him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the duration of his sentence.

Online Editors