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Pair beat up victim they believed had pushed girl

Two Dublin friends who attacked a man because they mistakenly believed he had pushed a woman have been remanded in custody for two weeks pending sentence.

John Fitzpatrick (23) and Robert O'Keefe (23) had been out celebrating O'Keefe's 21st birthday when they saw Daniel Lambert escort a friend, who was feeling 'worse for wear', outside a nightclub.

Fitzpatrick approached the woman and told her she would be better off with him. Mr Lambert told Fitzpatrick to go away.


Fitzpatrick punched Mr Lambert, knocking him to the ground, and he and O'Keefe continued to attack him while he lay there.

The pair ran off when security men from the nightclub intervened. An ambulance was called for the victim, who lay unconscious on the ground.

Garda Robert Griffin told the court that Mr Lambert was treated in hospital for a broken middle finger, broken teeth, a cut above one eye and bruising to his cheek.

He has since had to undergo dental work that will have to be repeated every 10 years.

The nightclub security men later pointed out Fitzpatrick and O'Keefe to gardai and both men made immediate admissions of assault.

Fitzpatrick of Oranmore Road, Ballyfermot and, O'Keefe of Ballyfermot Drive, also in Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm in Temple Bar on July 18, 2010.

Garda Griffin agreed with John Moher, defending O'Keefe, that both his client and Fitzpatrick still maintain that Mr Lambert was being aggressive towards the girl and had pushed her. The garda confirmed that neither Mr Lambert nor the woman he was with on the night accept this.

Both men had written a letter of apology to the court.

Judge Martin Nolan said the men had attacked and beat Mr Lambert after getting the "wrong end of the stick".

He said their behaviour was "pretty reprehensible" but accepted that alcohol had "probably affected their judgment".

He further accepted their co-operation with the gardai, their lack of previous convictions, their pleas of guilty and the fact that "both will probably contribute to society in the future".