Monday 18 December 2017

UCD student who broke TV3 cameraman’s nose in pub attack believes someone might have 'interfered with' his drink, court hears

Worrall had no recollection of the attack and could not explain why he did it.
Worrall had no recollection of the attack and could not explain why he did it.

By Andrew Phelan

A UCD SCIENCE student who broke a TV3 cameraman’s nose in a pub attack believed someone might have "interfered with" his drink on the night, a court heard.

Cillian Worrall (23) did not know victim Ronan Quinlan before he struck him in the face “out of the blue” in an unprovoked assault.

Worrall had no recollection of the attack and could not explain why he did it.

Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the case for a week at Dublin District Court for finalisation, after the accused offered the victim €2,000 as a token of his remorse.

Worrall, of Fortfield Avenue, Terenure, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Quinlan at McSorley’s Pub, Ranelagh on August 9 last.

Mr Quinlan told Judge Walsh of his injury that he had recovered “probably 90pc” but it was “slightly sensitive still.”

Sgt Niall Gillooly said Mr Quinlan went to Donnybrook Garda Station on October 29 last and reported the assault. He said he had suffered a broken nose and bruising and that the assault had been “totally unprovoked.”

The accused was not known to the victim and had no previous convictions, Sgt Gillooly said.

Worrall had no prior acquaintance with the victim, had “no grouse” with him and had no explanation to offer him for the assault, his solicitor said.

The accused had been out with friends on the night and when he arrived at the pub began behaving “rather strangely.”

He had “tried to infiltrate Mr Quinlan’s circle of acquaintances” with which he had no prior involvement,” his solicitor said.

“He was rebuffed, returned and completely out of the blue struck Mr Quinlan.”

Worrall was given the benefit of the adult caution scheme for his involvement in a public order incident on the same night.

The court heard the defendant was in his final year studying medicinal chemistry and expected to graduate with “a decent degree,” his solicitor said.

“He’s a well educated, well-behaved and diligent young man,” he continued, asking Judge Walsh if he could “see this as some sort of inexplicable one-off.”

“His family and acquaintances are driven to the conclusion that in some way his drinks were interfered with, there was nothing special about the evening in terms of intake,” Worrall’s solicitor added.

Worrall apologised to Mr Quinlan and had a banker’s draft for €2,000 in court to offer as “merely a token, by way of a gesture.”

The court heard Mr Quinlan was accepting this.

Judge Walsh said he wanted to think about the case before finalising it and asked the accused to consider a further sum to be contributed to charity.

“It seems to me this was a once-off incident,” the judge said. “Mr Quinlan was a patron, it is quite clear he wasn’t causing anyone any trouble and he ended up sustaining a broken nose.”

The evidence seemed to suggest the accused’s behaviour on the night was “somewhat erratic.”

“We don’t know what caused this, what we do know is he was previously a law-abiding citizen,” Judge Walsh said. “Clearly something happened on the night, it’s not for me to speculate.”

The judge said he was “familiar with the plight of young graduates” and said a conviction could have a very serious adverse effect on Worrall's efforts to get employment.

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