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Thief headbutted man in Abbey Theatre foyer as he was stopped stealing laptop


A MAN headbutted the security manager at Dublin's Abbey Theatre after he was stopped from stealing a laptop in the foyer.

Norman Duff (41) attacked the man as he was being escorted from the building.

Dublin District Court heard he was going through personal problems at the time of the incident.

Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned the case for the production of a pre-sentence probation report, saying he also wanted to hear from the victim before finalising matters.

Duff, with an address at Holly Park, Shankill, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Con Doyle at the Abbey Theatre on March 22, 2014. He also admitted stealing a laptop computer in the same incident.

The charges are under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person and Theft and Fraud Acts. Garda Karl Colgan from Store Street Station told the court the accused went into the theatre on the day in question and tried to take a laptop from the premises.

The security manager stopped him and escorted him outside. As he was doing so, Duff headbutted him on the nose, leaving him injured. Gardai were called and the defendant was arrested.

The victim's nose was swollen and he was treated and x-rayed in hospital.

Defence Solicitor Michael O'Connor asked Garda Colgan about the accused's demeanour on the day and if he seemed to have taken anything.

"Not to any great extent," the garda said. "He was coherent, he knew exactly what was going on at the time."

Mr O'Connor said that at the time the accused's "whole life had collapsed around him".

He was making efforts to address his problems and "comes across as being extremely sorry for what he did".

He was willing to do anything to try to make right what had happened.

Duff was on social welfare but could pay some compensation to the victim.


Judge Smyth noted that the defendant's record was "not without a blemish" and he did have previous convictions, although not for assault.

After reading the medical report, the judge said it was "of some concern to the court that the injured party is continuing to suffer from his injuries".

He adjourned the case to a date in January, for a probation report to be produced and the victim to be present.