herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Accountant denies blinding man in row over girlfriend

An accountant has gone on trial for assaulting a former telecommunications engineer who is now blind in one eye.

Brian Keane (28) of Glenlyon Park, Knocklyon, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Jairo Andreas Diaz (33) causing him harm by forcing him through a glass door at a Good Friday house party at Richelieu Park, Sandyford between April 14 and 15, 2006.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that it is the State's case that the accused, an accountant with Petrogas Group Ltd, "took exception" to Mr Diaz engaging with his girlfriend and forced him through a glass door.

She said there would be medical evidence that a glass shard pierced Mr Diaz's right eyeball leaving him blind in that eye.

Mr Diaz, who transferred here from Colombia with Ericsson in 2000 but left his job last year, told the court that he recalled Keane grabbing and trying to pinch him while he was talking to a group in the kitchen around midnight on April 15, 2006.

Mr Diaz said he recalled talking to a "heavy" woman and the surrounding group of people, including a woman in a white top to his left, about rents in Tallaght.

He said that he left the kitchen to go back dancing in the living room after Keane approached him because he was frightened of the accused's behaviour.

He said Keane apologised to him a little later but swung his fist at him during their final encounter at the party, just before the alleged incident.



approached

The complainant said he'd seen a slim woman with her back to him in the kitchen doorway and had tried to get this woman's attention to dance with him when Mr Keane, who was standing in front of her, made a fist and tried to hit him.

He said he dodged the punch but the accused dragged him from the kitchen to the front door and pitched him through the glass.

Mr Diaz said he got up but lay back down and requested an ambulance when he saw blood on his trousers and top.

He told the court he was taken to hospital 15 minutes later and then transferred to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.

He claimed he got several texts in hospital from the accused's phone apologising to him, saying he didn't mean to hurt him and wishing him a recovery.

Mr Diaz agreed with defence counsel that Keane had told him his girlfriend was the woman in the white top to his left during their first kitchen encounter.

He said he couldn't recall a conversation with the woman about Colombia being a more dangerous country than Ireland or asking her: "Do you think I'm dangerous now?"

Mr Diaz said he didn't see the accused till he confronted him in the group of people.

Defence counsel put it to Mr Diaz that his client's now ex-girlfriend, Ms Mary Lawlor, told gardai she didn't recall Keane squeezing or pinching the complainant during the kitchen encounter but instead described her boyfriend putting his arms around her.

Mr Diaz disputed that Mr Keane hugged Ms Lawlor given she was to his left and the accused approached him from the right. He said he didn't recall speaking with the woman at that stage or later on at the party.

He also denied he pulled a string on her top or touched her lower back when trying to get her attention before the alleged incident.

Mr Diaz denied that both men ended up falling through the glass door in the struggle.

The defence claimed that Keane had received cuts on his hands on the night consistent with falling through a glass door.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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