Thursday 26 April 2018

Violent pub brawl victim refused to make complaint to gardai, court told

'Man was punched, kicked and attacked with beer bottles' court hears

One of the accused, Anthony Harte (24) admitted his involvement in the fight in which a man was punched, kicked and attacked with beer bottles.
One of the accused, Anthony Harte (24) admitted his involvement in the fight in which a man was punched, kicked and attacked with beer bottles.

Declan Brennan and Jessica Magee

The victim of a violent pub brawl and the manager of the pub refused to make formal complaints to gardai after the incident, a court has heard.

One of the accused, Anthony Harte (24) admitted his involvement in the fight in which a man was punched, kicked and attacked with beer bottles.

Harte, of Stephen's Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at Morrisey's Pub, Cork Street, Dublin on January 7, 2013.

Two other men have been charged with their alleged involvement in the brawl and are due before the court at a future date.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned sentencing until October in order to assess Harte's suitability for community service.

Garda Seamus O'Donovan told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that the three men were drinking in the pub at a social occasion following a funeral.

He said that CCTV shows one man allegedly approaching another patron named Christopher Conlon and slapping him in the face.

He said a heated altercation followed involving slaps, punches and a bottle. He said Harte is shown punching the victim several times as well as kicking him. The footage also shows him picking up a bottle and approaching the victim but it is unclear what happens next.

Gda O'Donovan said the pub's panic alarm was triggered and gardaí arrived within minutes but Harte had left already.

The garda said that Mr Conlon was un-cooperative with the garda investigation and that no assault complaints were made so there are no details of any injuries received. Gardaí met Mr Conlon two days after the brawl and he had two black eyes but officers could not say if these were a result of the pub attack or not.

He said the manager of the pub also refused to make a formal statement. Judge Ring said she thought it is odd that the pub would have a panic button to alert gardai and then make no complaint afterwards.

Emmet Nolan BL, defending, said his client fell in with a poor peer group in his late teens and later began taking cocaine. He has since stopped taking this drug. He said he was drinking all day before the brawl.

Counsel added that Harte's three previous convictions are for minor offences and that he is not a man with a propensity for violence.

Harte also admitted handling three stolen motorbikes valued at €25,000, South Dublin Fiat dealership, Goatstown Road, Dundrum on February 1, 2012.

Darren Foster (35) of Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3, and Richard O'Reilly (29) of Windmill Road, Crumlin pleaded guilty to the handling stolen goods during the same incident. Judge Ring sentenced Foster to two years in prison but suspended it fully on condition that he keeps the peace for that time.

O'Reilly, a father-of-one, who works as a bicycle courier, has no previous convictions. Judge Ring adjourned his sentencing to assess his suitability for community service.

Mr Harte is also facing sentencing for handling three stolen motorbikes valued at €25,000.

The court heard that he and two other accused went into South Dublin Fiat on the Goatstown Rd, Dundrum on February 1st, 2012.

Garda Colin Fox said that in February 2012 Harte and Darren Foster looked at a bike in the showroom area and then told a staff member that they had arrived to pick up bikes that had already been paid for.

The men wheeled three Aprilia motorbikes out into a waiting van and drove off, before a staff member informed his boss and then phoned gardaí.

Foster was later identified as the owner of the van after his registration was captured on CCTV. He went voluntarily to gardaí and said he had got a call from a man who asked him to collect and deliver the bikes.

Foster said he had been paid €100 for the job.

His defence counsel Michael Bowman BL said Foster told gardaí he was “shocked” to discover that the motorcycles had never been paid for.

Mr Bowman said Foster, a father-of-two, was “annoyed and disappointed” by his error of judgement.

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