herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Man attacked as terrified children looked, court told

A TAXI driver and part-time bouncer accused of violently beating up a man in full view of shoppers, including children, has been sent forward for trial.

Derek McLoughlin (46) was allegedly part of a gang of up to six men who repeatedly punched and kicked the man while he lay on the ground at Ballymun Town Centre.

Detectives said it would be alleged McLoughlin was the "main aggressor" in the assault which took place in front of shoppers, including children.

The accused, of Ardgillan Lawn in Balbriggan, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with violent disorder at Ballymun Town Centre on July 16.



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He is also charged with two counts of criminal damage and assaulting a garda, all at Ballymun Garda Station on July 29.

The court heard the book of evidence was ready, and had been served on McLoughlin, who goes forward to the present sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

As part of his bail conditions, McLoughlin must stay out of the Ballymun area. His lawyer, Alan Toal, asked for the "compassion" of the court to relax this condition, saying the defendant wanted to visit his elderly, and often ill, parents.

Detective Garda Ronan McMorrow objected to this, saying the defendant had no financial incentive to be in Ballymun, and had brothers living close to his parents.

Garda McMorrow also said he saw McLoughlin's father in the local pub a short while ago, and he did not appear unwell.

Mr Toal said McLoughlin's parents were elderly and "fall in and out of health" and asked the court not to penalise them due to the allegations against McLoughlin.

Judge Conal Gibbons refused to amend the bail conditions, saying the defendant's parents could travel to meet him.

The judge also granted McLoughlin free legal aid, despite objections by the State.



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Garda McMorrow objected to legal aid, saying the accused had €510 cash when he was arrested and was paying a mortgage on his house. He also said McLoughlin owned a taxi plate, which he could rent out.

In his evidence, McLoughlin, a married man with two children in their teens, said he was "broke now at the moment".

He said he was unemployed and unable to work as a doorman or as a taxi driver, as his licences had been taken off him, and he was months behind on his mortgage.

In cross examination, he denied he had "substantial cash reserves" to meet his legal bill, saying taxi drivers had never earned that much money.

Judge Gibbons backdated legal aid it to McLoughlin's first appearance in court.

hnews@herald.ie

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