Cancer researcher split man's nose open
A CANCER researcher split a man's nose open with a headbutt after claiming he was in the IRA because the victim spoke to his girlfriend in a bar.
The attack happened when David Hughes (41) took offence because the man asked his partner to move so he could take a picture of his own friends.
Hughes, of Morehampton Lane, Donnybrook, was found guilty of assaulting Herbert Kerr at Dublin music venue Whelan's.
Judge Bridget Reilly said he was "trigger-happy" and his girlfriend had shown "oversensitivity" at what was a reasonable request by the victim.
She adjourned the case for the production of compensation and sentencing.
The defendant had pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Kerr at Whelan's, Wexford Street, on December 14, 2008. From Co Tyrone, Hughes had strongly denied making the IRA comment, saying he "abhorred" the idea.
Mr Kerr told Dublin District Court he was in the bar when he asked the defendant's girlfriend Leanne Kelly if she minded moving out of the way so he could take a picture of two of the girls he was with.
He said the defendant, whom he had never met before, then came over and "accused him of talking to his girlfriend".
"He was threatening me that he was from Monaghan, he was in the IRA and could have me killed," Mr Kerr said.
"I told him I didn't know what he was talking about and walked away."
When he returned from the bathroom, the defendant was walking to the exit. "He lunged at me and headbutted me in the face," Mr Kerr said.
The accused then went outside and said: "Come out and I'll fight you."
The court heard Mr Kerr suffered contusion and a laceration to the bridge of his nose and was bleeding profusely from his injury.
Security man Chris McDonnell said the defendant's explanation at the scene was: "He was chatting up my bird so I stuck the head on him."
Hughes told the court he had approached Mr Kerr and asked: "Why are you annoying my girlfriend?" He claimed the victim responded with derogatory remarks about Ms Kelly's appearance and the couple then went to leave.
He claimed they were surrounded by Mr Kerr's friends at the door and there was an "accidental clash of heads", after which Mr Kerr punched him.
On the evidence that he said he was in the IRA and threatened to have Mr Kerr killed, he said: "That is one of the worst insults anybody could say to me, being in the IRA. I find it absolutely abhorrent."
The judge adjourned the case for the production of €1,000 compensation and said she would consider community service instead of jail.