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Canadian charged with Temple Bar assault on doctor fights to go home

THE High Court has yet to decide if a Canadian student can return home pending a trial in which he is accused of attacking a French doctor in Dublin's Temple Bar.

Simon Mercier (23), who studies in Quebec, is accused of assault causing harm to 26-year-old French doctor Guillaume Osterstock in Temple Bar in the early hours of August 14.

Dr Osterstock sustained a serious head injury and was treated at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, where he had worked as a locum doctor.

Mercier had been granted bail on August 17 on condition he signed on twice a day at a garda station and lived at an address given to the court.

The court had heard at that bail hearing that Mercier claimed it was a case of self-defence.

Mercier made his sixth court appearance yesterday at Dublin District Court, where his solicitor Peter Connolly asked for a further remand.

He explained that there has been an application to the High Court to vary his client's bail.

He said his client is "trying to get back to Canada on bail".

Mr Connolly asked for the District Court proceedings to be adjourned until September 29.

Judge Cormac Dunne agreed to remand Mercier to appear again on that date and he also consented to an application to reduce his signing-on condition to once daily.

Shortly after the alleged incident, Dr Osterstock's grandmother told the Herald that he was a "wonderful grandson" who was enjoying life in Ireland.

It is understood his condition has improved considerably in recent weeks and he is responding well to treatment at Beaumont Hospital.

Speaking from her home near Montpellier, France, Marie Claude Osterstock (84) said that the young doctor was very close to her and that he would contact her every night.

"He's like a son to me," she said.