A Carlow resident who punched two nightclub-goers out of “misguided chivalry” has been given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence and one year to pay his victims compensation.
One of the men was knocked unconscious after he was struck several times by Vasilica Stan (21) at the Alchemy nightclub in Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
Stan, a Romanian national who previously lived at Summerhill Parade, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Haseeb Ghous and Majid Khan on December 7, 2013.
Defence counsel Kate Egan BL said Stan had punched the two men after he got a text claiming they had harassed and inappropriately touched a female friend of his.
“A girl in his group perceived herself to be harassed by the two injured parties. Mr Stan took it upon himself to intervene,” said Ms Egan.
She accepted that there had been no physical provocation and said Stan was “genuinely remorseful” and had inquired after the victims.
“Was this misguided chivalry?” asked Judge Martin Nolan, who had remanded Stan in custody overnight while he considered what sentence to impose.
Judge Nolan told the court he was “unimpressed by these types of cowardly assaults” but added that he had to accept there had been a reason that motivated Stan to attack.
He ordered Stan to pay Mr Ghous €2,000 and Mr Khan €1,000 within a year.
Garda Gary Woods told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that the assault took place at 2:10am after Mr Ghous and Mr Khan had ordered two drinks each at the bar.
Mr Ghous told gardaí he turned from the bar and glimpsed Stan who punched the right side of his face with a closed fist.
Mr Ghous blacked out and fell to the ground and only properly regained consciousness in the Mater Hospital at 7:30am the following day.
Two of his upper teeth were chipped, his lips were cut and badly swollen, his eye was badly bruised and he suffered soft tissue damage in his jaw and cheek.
Mr Khan said he saw his friend being hit and falling and then straight away the man punched him twice on both sides of his face.
A few days later he felt dizzy and had to spend a night in hospital where got an MRI and other scans. His face was badly bruised and his neck and back were extremely sore. The court heard he still suffers from dizzy spells.
Stan went to Pearse Street Garda Station the following week and admitted assaulting both men but denied kicking Mr Khan when he was on the ground.
Ms Egan said Stan's long term girlfriend is expecting a baby and that he is anxious to provide for his family.
The court heard Stan had been in Ireland since the age of 14, had left school after the Junior Cert and had worked solidly ever since.
The court was given letters of his reference from Stan's employer in Carlow where he now lives, from his girlfriend and from his landlord.