Thursday 18 January 2018

Man hit with hammer in Nando’s as terrified diners fled, court told

The attack happened in a branch of Nando's in Santry
The attack happened in a branch of Nando's in Santry

Andrew Phelan

A diner having a meal with family at a Nando’s restaurant was beaten with a claw hammer in a violent attack in front of up to 100 frightened customers, a court heard.

Two accused, Martin Maughan (28) and Michael Mongan (39), allegedly set upon the man while groups of children celebrating their first communion looked on.

The court heard the man was also pepper-sprayed by one of the accused during the attack, which happened after derogatory remarks were allegedly made about Mr Maughan’s disabled daughter.

Judge Fiona Lydon refused to grant bail to Mr Maughan and remanded him in custody for the directions of the DPP to be made available. Mr Mongan was granted bail under conditions at Dublin District Court and both cases were adjourned.

The defendants, both from Sillogue Green in Ballymun, are each charged with assault causing harm.

Mr Maughan, a father-of-six, is further charged with producing a hammer as a weapon.

The incident happened at Nando’s, Omni Park Shopping Centre, Santry, on May 7.

Gardai objected to bail, citing the nature and seriousness of the charges and their belief that the accused could threaten the alleged victim.

Garda Daniel Lynch told the court the restaurant was full to capacity when two men entered the premises.

According to the prosecution, Mr Maughan was armed with a claw hammer and approached the alleged victim, striking him a number of times about the body.

The man attempted to flee, jumping over the counter and running through the kitchen area. Mr Maughan chased after him, striking him again as he ran out of the restaurant. The man was also allegedly pepper-sprayed.

He ran back inside the restaurant and Mr Mongan was said to have punched him in the face.

Customers feared for their safety and fled.

Gda Lynch said the accused left the scene, were identified on CCTV and stopped in a van on the Ballymun Road.

The victim suffered bleeding and bruising.

Gda Lynch said he believed the incident stemmed from derogatory comments made previously about Mr Maughan’s daughter, who has spina bifida. Mr Maughan’s sister was married to the victim’s brother, the garda added.

Garda Paul Butler said it was alleged Mr Mongan, a father-of-four, punched the man a number of times in the face.

Objecting to bail, he cited the “sheer violence” alleged.

A defence solicitor applied for bail, saying the accused enjoy a presumption of innocence and would abide by conditions.

Judge Lydon refused it in the case of Mr Maughan, who was remanded in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court later this week.

She granted bail to Mr Mongan, on condition he signs on at his local garda station, observes a curfew and has no contact with the alleged victim.

He is due to appear in court again on June 16.

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