herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Smoker broke woman's nose in row on bus

A BUS passenger who broke a woman's nose with a punch to the face when he attacked her while he was drinking beer has been jailed for nine months.

Daniel Eccles (23) was sentenced for the assault on the woman during a row on board a Dublin bus after "words were exchanged" about smoking on the top deck.

The court had heard the victim and her boyfriend had got on the bus at the Greenhills Road and went upstairs to where Eccles and a friend were drinking and smoking when the incident happened.

Eccles, of West Park, Tallaght, had admitted assault causing harm to Jacqueline Crawford at the Village, Tallaght on August 18 last. Tallaght District Court had heard the assault happened on the 77a bus at 8.30pm. In CCTV footage, Ms Crawford was seen arguing with Eccles' friend, after which the accused assaulted her.



Spat

Michael Hennessy, defending, had claimed the injured party spat blood in Eccles' face just before the assault.

During the footage, Ms Crawford was turned over and her runners could be seen in the camera. Mr Hennessy described it as a "spear tackle" and maintained that the victim was "quite clearly the aggressor".

Judge James McDonnell disagreed and pointed out that the accused's friend had "clearly entered Ms Crawford's body space". The judge had granted a long adjournment before sentencing after giving Eccles credit for his guilty plea.

When the case came back before the court, Mr Hennessy said there had been "notable mitigating factors". He said the accused had been seen minding his own business for most of the CCTV footage, then tried to stop a fight.

"For his trouble he was spat on and that is when the assault occurred," Mr Hennessy said.

The court heard the defendant was recently on disability benefit because he had been in a car crash and had pins and a bar put into his right leg. He had been "hobbling around on crutches for several months".

hnews@herald.ie

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