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Beggar chased rickshaw driver with broken bottle

HE thought the man attacked his girlfriend and stole their takings, a court heard.

IN a case of mistaken identity, Ralf Hirsch (37) pursued the driver who cycled along the Luas tracks screaming for help until he found a garda.

He was given a 19-month suspended sentence after he admitted charges in connection with the incident that happened on a busy city centre street as nightclubs were shutting.

Hirsch, with an address at Phibsboro Road, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon and causing a breach of the peace at Harcourt Street on August 11, 2012. He also admitted a separate charge of failing to appear in court.

Defence solicitor Aine Flynn said Hirsch and his girlfriend had been begging when they were set upon by a group of men. His girlfriend was punched and their takings were knocked over and stolen. Hirsch was "infuriated" by this. He had not been carrying the bottle, but it was on the ground and he picked it up and "chased what appears to be the wrong person".

Judge Cormac Dunne sentenced the accused to nine months, suspended for 18 months on the weapons charge.