Solicitor's €1,000 to avoid conviction
A SOLICITOR has avoided a criminal conviction for assault after paying €1,000 to charity.
John Devane (50), who has a practice at Quinlan Street in Limerick, appeared before the city's district court earlier this month when he denied assaulting fellow solicitor John Herbert.
But Judge Patrick Clyne yesterday dismissed the case on its merits on learning Mr Devane had paid €1,000 to the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
Mr Devane admitted his relationship with Mr Herbert was "not an amicable one" but insisted he never assaulted him. Mr Herbert, whose offices are at Arthur's Quay in Limerick, said Mr Devane caught him by the throat after trying to head butt him outside courtroom four of Limerick District Court on June 9, 2011.
Last month, Mr Devane was acquitted of a separate charge of assaulting Mr Herbert in an incident alleged to have occurred 18 months ago.
State solicitor Michael Murray told the court yesterday he had specific instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions on the matter.
He said Judge Clyne should have dismissed the matter under the Probation Act or recorded a conviction but struck out the proceedings.
Judge Clyne said his decision was made.