A CHIP shop customer who punched another patron to the ground, causing him to break his elbow in the fall, has been ordered to carry out community service.
Robert O'Rourke (28) was queuing in the takeaway after attending a Christening when he struck the victim in the face following a verbal altercation about food.
At Blanchardstown District Court, Judge David McHugh ordered 150 hours' community service instead of three months in prison.
O'Rourke, a father-of-two, of Rossvale, Portlaoise, had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to a man at Main Street, Clondalkin on April 30, 2012. The court heard the incident happened between 3am and 4am.
O'Rourke punched the victim to the face, causing him to fall heavily to the ground. As well as the fractured elbow, the victim suffered cuts and swelling to his lips and face.
He was treated in hospital, attended a physiotherapist and was off work for three months.
O'Rourke had asked a girl for "a piece of her food", his solicitor Lorraine Stephens said. This had been taken as a derogatory comment by the victim. "It wasn't a random act of violence," Ms Stephens said. "One word borrowed another which led to this."
Judge McHugh said the offence was a "once off", noting the accused had a clear record.