Pair avoid jail over brawl after schools' game
TWO rugby players involved in a mass brawl which left a youth with a broken leg have avoided a jail term.
Scott Flood Wiley (21) and Evan Lewis (22) were out celebrating their school, Clongowes Wood College, winning the Leinster Schools Cup when they took part in a fight involving around 20 young men.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that gardai were later able to identify the youths by going through the Clongowes yearbook and finding their pictures.
Flood Wiley of Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, and Lewis of Coppinger Close, Stillorgan, but originally from Ennis in Clare, pleaded guilty to affray on Lower Rathmines Road on March 20, 2011.
Garda Mary Brophy told prosecuting counsel Roisin Lacy that a large number of current and former Clongowes students were in Tramco nightclub in Rathmines celebrating the school's recent win in the rugby competition.
Another group of youths including Graham Bennett and Ryan Hatfield were in the same club celebrating a 21st birthday.
Mr Hatfield was involved in a verbal row with some Clongowes students in the smoking area before his group left the club and went to a nearby chipper.
They again ran into the group of students who began shouting abuse at them.
Mr Hatfield's group walked on until he "felt a dig in his right ear". A fight then broke out between the two groups.
Mr Bennett fell to the ground during the struggle. He was unable to stand up afterwards and heard a "popping sound" when he tried. He was taken to hospital where he was found to have a "Bosworth fracture" to his leg.
Flood Wiley and Lewis's defence counsel both said their clients had nothing to do with causing Mr Bennett's injuries and this was accepted by the prosecution.
Judge Carmel Stewart discharged both men on condition that they keep the peace for two years. She said she was doing this due to the character and nature of both men, the extenuating circumstances and time since the offence.
They will both have a conviction which they will have to bear for the rest of their lives, she noted.
Judge Stewart said that this was a serious public order offence and that this type of incident was all too common on our city streets.
She said: "There was considerable ambiguity as to who did what on the night."
Flood Wiley told gardai he may have punched somebody but denied kicking or stamping.
Lewis, who came to the garda station voluntarily before his arrest, claimed he got "a slap" as he left the club and then pushed another male who was attacking his friend.
Flood Wiley has three previous convictions for theft, drug possession and a road traffic matter.
Lewis has not previously been in trouble with the gardai.