herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Dad-of-4 who punched female bouncer at gay bar offered €300

'Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out at Dublin District Court, saying he was taking Hodgins' apology into account' (stock photo)
'Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out at Dublin District Court, saying he was taking Hodgins' apology into account' (stock photo)

A businessman punched a female bouncer in the mouth in a gay bar, then left her a €300 shopping voucher to apologise.

John Hodgins (50) "lashed out" and hit the doorwoman after he and a friend were asked to leave The George Bar in Dublin's city centre.

The father-of-four was left without a criminal record after he paid €500 to charity.

Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out at Dublin District Court, saying he was taking Hodgins' apology into account.

Hodgins, of Gortaboy, Kinvara, Co Galway, pleaded guilty to assault and threatening and abusive behaviour at the George Bar at 12.30am on March 2.

Sergeant Niall Murphy said Hodgins had been causing trouble inside when he was asked to leave.

As he was walking out he punched a female bouncer in the mouth without warning.

He was restrained by other security staff on the ground and gardai were called.

Staff were still dealing with Hodgins on the ground outside the bar when officers arrived. He was still shouting obscenities at that stage.

The victim had made a full recovery, the court heard.

Diagnosed

Hodgins was married with four children and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder six years ago, the court heard.

He was self-employed but his business had been severely affected by the recession.

He had a number of properties in receivership, his solicitor Aisling Mulligan said.

Hodgins had managed to hold on to one company, a glazing firm that employed 50 people.

He had "worked hard to bring the business back up".

On the night of the assault, he had been in the bar with a friend. The friend had "caused trouble" which Hodgins was not involved in, Ms Mulligan said.

They were both put out of the premises and Hodgins "lashed out" as he left. He was greatly ashamed and went back the next day to speak to the member of staff, but "she didn't want to speak to him".

"He went and got her a voucher for €300 and left it with his phone number and an apology," Ms Mulligan said.

Alcohol was "the trigger here", Ms Mulligan said. The accused had been on medication as well. He had not taken a drink since.

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