Teacher told to pay €3k and escape conviction for beating up victim

Andrew Phelan

A PE teacher who left a man with facial cuts and bruises when he punched him in a fight outside a city nightclub has been told to pay €3,000 to avoid an assault conviction.

Mark Hickey (25) has been told by a judge he will have the case against him struck out if he pays the money -- including €1,000 in compensation to the victim.

Dublin District Court heard Hickey was a man with "real prospects" as a teacher that would be affected if he had a criminal record.

Hickey, of Pinebrook Avenue, Artane, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to assaulting Seamus Murphy, in the incident on January 1.

Garda Colm Manning told the court he went to the Palace Nightclub on Camden Street at 2.55am on the night in question.

At the scene he was told a man had been assaulted. Upon inquiring, he was told that Hickey and the injured party had engaged in a fight outside the premises. Hickey had punched Mr Murphy in the face and Garda Manning handed photographic evidence of the injuries up to Judge Dermot Dempsey.


Hickey was co-operative with gardai, told them of his remorse, explained that he did not usually get into rows and said he was too intoxicated to realise what he was doing. He told them the assault was "not intentional".

Hickey had no previous convictions. He had a long-standing interest in sports and intended to pursue it as a career, his barrister, Olan Callanan, said. He had recently completed a four-year physical education degree course at the University of Bedfordshire.

Over the years, he had played rugby for Clontarf at underage level. He was due to travel to Spain next month to work as a sports co-ordinator at a camp there.

"Hickey presents as a very genuine young man" he said. "His parents are suitably appalled by his actions on the night. He has given them no such trouble before in the past."

Mr Callanan assured Judge Dempsey the compensation would be paid for by the accused, rather than his parents. Judge Dempsey agreed to strike the charge out if the accused paid €1,000 to Mr Murphy and €2,000 to charity in the next 10 days.