Student who assaulted stranger with bottle in Dublin nightclub ordered to pay victim over €12k
A university student who assaulted a stranger in a nightclub with a bottle has received a suspended sentence on condition that he pay €12,500 to his victim.
Hakim Mansour (22), who is studying economics and politics, was identified as the culprit by the injured party when he saw him as he looked through Facebook photos of the night.
Mansour, of College Fort, Castleknock, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Krystle nightclub, Harcourt Street on February 21, 2016. He has no previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan noted it was not clear if Mansour had thrown or struck out with the bottle.
He said the victim had suffered injuries, including lacerations to his face and nerve damage to his hand, which had lasting effects.
The judge said it had been a vicious assault that had occurred without provocation.
He noted in mitigation Mansour's guilty plea, that he had co-operated with the investigation and made full admissions. He said Mansour came from a good family and was a bright young man.
Judge Nolan said that in all probability Mansour would be a good citizen of this country.
He said an assault with a bottle was always serious and the court must consider an immediate custodial sentence. He said it was “a close run thing” but thought he should not impose a prison term because of the mitigating factors and Mansour's personal circumstances.
Judge Nolan imposed a sentence of two years imprisonment which he suspended in full on condition that he be of good behaviour for two years and that within two years he gather €12,500 for transmission to the injured party.
He said that if he had decided to impose a custodial sentence a financial penalty would not arise.
Judge Nolan said that as he had decided to impose a non-custodial sentence, the financial penalty was intended to punish Mansour and compensate the victim.
Kevin White BL, defending, had told the court Mansour would like to apologise unreservedly.
He said Mansour had been born in Algeria and come to Ireland when he was eight years old. His parents were both working and Mansour was studying at university. He said Mansour also worked part time and ultimately hoped to find employment in the financial sector.
He outlined a probation report which placed Mansour at low risk of re-offending and highlighted significant “pro-social factors” including a solid family background, employment and education.
Counsel asked the court to take into account his client's early guilty plea and submitted had the case gone to trial there could have been issues in relation to identification evidence.
Mr White said this conviction would have a very significant effect on Mansour's life and he would have to face up to that. He asked the court to impose a community based sanction.
Garda David Dutton told Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that the victim had been in the nightclub with friends when a young man came over to their table. There was a brief interaction with the group which seemed to make the young man angry.
The victim said he then saw someone come from the side and he put his hand up to defend himself. He was struck on the head with something sharp. His girlfriend reported seeing a man hitting her partner with a bottle “out of nowhere.”
The victim received lacerations to his face and underwent surgery to repair an artery and tendon on a “quite severe” injury to his thumb. A victim impact statement was handed into court.
The court heard the victim was later looking through Facebook photos of the night and saw the man he believed had assaulted him. Mansour was later arrested and interviewed.
Mansour told gardai he had picked up an item, which he accepted was a bottle, and thrown it.
Kevin White BL, defending, submitted that there appeared to be an issue in relation to how the assault had happened and Mansour's recollection was that he had thrown the bottle.
Ms O'Sullivan agreed with Judge Nolan that the state case was Mansour had struck out with the bottle.
Gda Dutton agreed with Mr White that there had been two groups in the same area in the club and there seemed to be a verbal altercation that was not instigated by Mansour or the victim.
He agreed that Mansour had not been involved in the initial altercation but had gotten himself involved. Mr White said Mansour had perceived on the night that the other group was at fault.
He agreed with Mr White that Mansour told gardai his behaviour had been disgusting, his actions were stupid and that he would like to apologise.
Mr White handed in a letter of apology from his client and a number of testimonials.