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Friday 18 August 2017

Football star Hendrick 'pulled club reveller out of taxi', court hears

Republic of Ireland and Derby County star Jeff Hendrick outside Dublin District Court (Collins)
Republic of Ireland and Derby County star Jeff Hendrick outside Dublin District Court (Collins)

Republic of Ireland footballer Jeff Hendrick pulled a clubber out of a taxi before the man was set on by a group of attackers who left him with a broken jaw, it has been alleged.

A court was told that Mr Hendrick (24) chased the man in the cab, surrounded it with others and forcibly removed him from the vehicle following a row in a club.

A co-defendant, Jonathan Doran (24), is accused of assaulting the man, who suffered a triple fracture to his jaw and broken teeth.

Both Mr Hendrick and Mr Doran are facing jury trial after a judge ruled the case was too serious to be heard at Dublin District Court.

Judge John Cheatle halted the hearing and adjourned the cases for the preparation of books of evidence.

Mr Hendrick (23), originally from Kilmore, north Dublin, but now based in England where he plays midfield for Derby County, pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at Harcourt Street on October 12, 2013.

Mr Doran, of Kilmore Crescent, Artane, also denies violent disorder as well as assaulting Darren McDermott.

No assault charge has been brought against Mr Hendrick.

Mr McDermott, who has coached under-age soccer, said he was with friends in Krystle nightclub when they met Mr Hendrick and some friends.

Mr McDermott, from Kilmore, only knew Mr Hendrick to see.

They were "having a laugh and took a couple of photos on the phone."

Aggressive

It was amiable, but it changed "quite quickly".

"Jeff just turned, his whole demeanour changed, he wasn't happy with me being in their company," said Mr McDermott.

He said it became "quite aggressive", and he told Mr Hendrick to calm down.

Mr McDermott's friend, Alan Kelly, intervened and security put Mr Hendrick and some friends outside.

Mr McDermott said he had never had any issues with Mr Hendrick.

"He just lost it," he said.

He added that he left and saw Mr Hendrick and five or six friends at the top of the steps.

He said Mr Hendrick "went to have a go again".

"Ultimately, he was looking to hit me or assault me, you could see it in his demeanour that he was trying to get at me, I was quite intimidated," he said.

Mr McDermott said two of the footballer's friends tried to calm him down but others were "getting a bit tetchy".

He said he ran and jumped into a taxi while Mr Kelly "held off the others".

The taxi was surrounded by Mr Hendrick and three to four friends, he said. It was blocked from moving and was banged.

Mr McDermott said he locked the doors and pleaded with the driver to drive on.

He said Mr Hendrick "was asking me to get out, pulling at the handle, trying to get at me".

The driver took off the locks.

"Jeff Hendrick opened the door and forcibly pulled me out of the taxi," said Mr McDermott.

Screaming

He asked him to calm down, but said he was "out of it".

Mr McDernott said he ran and was chased.

"Next thing I remember I was on the ground," he said. "I don't know how I hit the ground, but straight away people laid into me, kicking me in the head and ribs," he said. "I had my hands over my head trying to protect myself."

He heard girls screaming "Get off him, get away from him" and added: "God knows what would have happened. I feel like they saved my life."

The people left and gardai arrived.

Judge Cheatle stopped the trial before any more evidence was heard and refused jurisdiction, adjourning the case to a date next month.

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