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Man needed 13 stitches in club attack

A CLUBGOER who headbutted another man so hard the victim needed 13 stitches on his forehead had landed a "lucky blow", a court was told.

Richard Coyne (26) was drunk when he attacked the other man in a jostle at the bar. But while he split the victim's head open, he was uninjured.

Coyne was left without a conviction after he admitted an assault charge and paid €2,500 in compensation to the victim.

Coyne, of Linenhall Parade, Smithfield, pleaded guilty to assaulting Philip Kerrigan at the Mezz Bar on Eustace Street, Dublin 2, on January 10.

A garda sergeant told Dublin District Court that Coyne had an argument with the victim before he headbutted him, leaving him bleeding from the forehead. Coyne was held by security until gardai arrived. The victim had no permanent scar from the cut.

The court heard that Coyle, who has no previous convictions, had no contact with the victim before the assault.

There was "no background" to the incident, the defendant's solicitor told Judge Cormac Dunne.


There had been a "bit of pushing and shoving" at the bar. Coyne's level of intoxication was indicated by the fact that he could not remember his address when gardai asked him.

If he had been able to remember it, the case could have been dealt with by way of a summons, his solicitor said.

Judge Dunne said that although Coyne had been intoxicated, a headbutt was a "skilled assault".

"If you tried to headbutt someone, you would probably injure yourself," the judge said. "It's not just a fist flying, it requires some sort of skill."

Coyne's solicitor replied: "My instructions are that it was a lucky blow."

The court heard the defendant had no previous convictions and had never been cautioned by the gardai.

References were presented to the court setting out his "field of endeavour".

The court heard the defendant had been "emotionally at a low ebb following a relationship question" and was "burying himself in drink" in the short term.

Applying the Probation Act, the judge told the accused: "You are getting a chance, don't waste it."