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Plumber who hit ex-boss claimed he was owed pay

A PLUMBER who claimed his former boss had left him waiting for over a year for €5,000 in unpaid wages, punched him in the face and head in a roadside assault.

Robert O'Donovan (26) left Derek Downey needing five stitches to a cut over his eye.

He denied the assault, claiming the victim grabbed him by the throat after he called him and his wife "liars".

Mr Downey denied he owed O'Donovan €5,200, alleging the defendant falsified time sheets while he was contracted to work for him as a plumber, and had claimed for work he did not do.

He also alleged that O'Donovan had previously threatened him and his wife. A judge found O'Donovan guilty of assault and ordered him to pay €3,000 compensation to Mr Downey.

The defendant was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service in lieu of four months in prison.

O'Donovan, of Brookdale Drive in Swords, had denied assaulting Mr Downey at Heat Merchants, Turvey Avenue, Donabate.


Swords District Court heard Mr Downey was getting into his van outside a builder's suppliers on September 5, 2008, when O'Donovan came over shouting, "I want my money".

Mr Downey said O'Donovan leaned into the van, holding the door open. He said he put his hand up to stop him leaning into him, and O'Donovan shouted, "Don't touch me", and threw a punch at him. He said he ducked and the punch landed on the top of his head.

Mr Downey said he held his arms up to protect his head, and O'Donovan hit him four or five times around it.

He suffered a cut over his eye, as well as bruises to his head and arms.

O'Donovan insisted Mr Downey was standing beside his van. He said the pair started shouting at each other, and he called Mr Downey a "liar".

He said he then called his wife a liar as well, as they had both promised and then failed, to pay him his money.

At this, O'Donovan claimed Mr Downey grabbed him by the scruff of his collar, and in self-defence he hit him.