Sunday 18 March 2018

Compensation agreed after punch thrown

A man who admitted punching another outside a bar in Annagassan was given the benefit of the Probation Act after he paid 'a four figure sum' in compensation to the victim.

John Smyth (59), Togher Road, Annagassan, was found guilty last year of assaulting a man outside Slan's bar in the village on the morning of August 17 2015.

At the hearing, CCTV showed a figure standing close to the wall of the pub shortly before 9am when a red car pulled up and a man got out.

The man, which Smith admitted was him, walked over to the victim and punched him in the face. He spent some moments remonstrating with the victim, waving his hands around while he talked, before he got into the car and drove away.

Smith alleged there had been an incident in the bar the night before when, he claimed, the victim had followed him into the toilets and verbally abused him, claiming Smith owed him money for work he'd done as a fisherman.

The court was told there was a belief by Smyth that had been 'robbed' by the victim over a number of years. The district court heard how the probation report about Smyth, who has no previous convictions, was positive. Solicitor Conor MacGuill said: 'If you were to forget about the offence, it would be an excellent report. The only issue is perhaps that it speaks to the enmity where there was no disclosable material injury caused.

'He is a person before the court for the first time and is a non-remarkable and law-abiding citizen and is at a low risk of re-offending'.

Judge Brennan said he wanted to see a sum 'in four figures' handed over to the victim and the case was adjourned to last week. Mr MacGuill said his client had 'followed through on the directions of the court and has come up with four figures'.

Judge Brennan initially imposed a three month sentence, suspended for three months, but Mr MacGuill reiterated the positive tone of the probation report and solicitor Niall Lavery, for the victim, said his client was 'anxious for the matter to be completed'.

Judge Brennan changed his initial order and dismissed the charge under the Probation Act.

Drogheda Independent