Sunday 8 December 2019

Man assaulted friend at birthday party following drunken row over nationality of a famous poet, court told

Jessica Magee

A man has avoided jail after he assaulted a friend following a drunken argument over the nationality of a famous poet.

Wojciech Wolny (31), who is originally from Poland, was convicted of assault causing harm at a birthday party in his north Dublin home on January 15, 2012.

He had denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury after a two-day trial in January.

Wolny, with an address at Bremore Pastures Way, Balbriggan, was given a suspended sentence of two and a half years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Martin Nolan said it would be unjust to put Wolny in custody as he had no doubt he had been subject to a “certain amount of provocation”.

However he ordered that Wolny produce a further sum of €1,500 to be given to the victim in compensation, on top of the €3,000 he had already brought to court.

The court heard that the victim, Andrei Miskevich, suffered a fractured eye socket and had to undergo surgery after the assault.

Garda David Sheeran told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that both Wolny and the victim had consumed a large amount of alcohol on the night.

An argument began between the two men about whether the famous poet Adam Mickiewicz was Lithuanian or Polish.

The row escalated into a fight and Wolny hit Mr Miskevich in the face.

Wolny was arrested and told gardaí that Mr Miskevich had been behaving “like crazy” and as if he was high on drugs.

Wolny also said he was annoyed with Mr Miskevich as he claimed he had been harassing his wife at work.

The court heard that Mr Miskevich worked at the same café as Wolny's wife, and had been telling her she had “a nice ass”.

A victim impact report read out on behalf of Mr Miskevich said he had to undergo eye surgery.

He said he had been left with numbness in part of his face, a piece of plastic in his eye socket and a scar under his left eye.

Mr Miskevich said he had to move house from Balbriggan as he was afraid of seeing the accused.

He said he had considered Wolny to be a friend, and was upset and shocked that he had not contacted him to say sorry.

Wolny has no previous convictions.

Gda Sheeran agreed with Gerard Reilly BL, defending, that Wolny is a hard-working man and had been always pleasant with gardaí.

Mr Reilly said his client was doing a truck-driving course and hoped to find gainful employment.

Judge Nolan said both parties had been on friendly terms until an argument over the nationality of the poet got out of hand.

He ordered Wolny to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the duration of his suspended sentence.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News