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Man cleared of punching woman in face

A MAN accused of punching a woman in the face and smashing a bottle over her friend's head as they stood outside a city centre bar has been cleared of assault.

Robert Nicoletti had the case against him dismissed after a judge ruled that gardai had produced no evidence to identify him as the culprit. Nicoletti (19), of Tom Kelly Road, Charlemont Street, had denied two charges of common assault in the incident outside the Bernard Shaw bar on South Richmond Street on February 6 this year.

A security man working in the pub on the night told Dublin District Court the woman's assailant had been told to leave when he started kicking and punching a sign. "He literally destroyed it," the doorman said.

He said one of the alleged victims, Sylvia Gallagher, said something to the man, who then punched her in the face.

The man then picked up a bottle and threw it at them, hitting the woman's friend Ruth Collins on the head.

The doorman said he called the gardai and the assailant walked away while he went to get a first aid kit. He provided a description to the gardai.

The prosecuting garda told the court he met both alleged victims at the scene. They told him the man who attacked them had at first "kept going into the ladies' toilets and annoying people".

The defendant's solicitor argued that there had been no identification of the accused as being the culprit. He had not been arrested "anywhere near the scene".

Judge Catherine Staines said there had been "absolutely no connection" made between the person who carried out the attacks and Robert Nicoletti. She dismissed both charges.