herald

Sunday 18 August 2019

Circus tent worker punched taxi man and resisted arrest

William Bickerstaff left driver bruised and cut, court heard
William Bickerstaff left driver bruised and cut, court heard

A circus worker who punched a taxi man in the face in a dispute over a fare has admitted assault.

William Bickerstaff (30) was touring Ireland with Circus Vegas when he attacked the driver last month.

Bickerstaff, of Bramblewood Manor, Banbridge, Newry, Co Down, is charged with assault causing harm on Dublin's O'Connell Street.

He is also charged with obstructing gardai, public intoxication and threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

Bickerstaff was released on bail after his arrest on July 12.

His case came back before Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court.

Bickerstaff's solicitor Rory Staines said the accused was pleading guilty. Judge Smyth put the case back to a date next month for facts and mitigation to be heard.

He also said he wanted any victim impact evidence.

At his bail hearing last month, the court heard that Bickerstaff had climbed into the taxi and, when confronted, punched the driver, causing facial injuries.

Bleeding

One of the driver's eyes was swollen and he was bruised, cut and bleeding, but the injuries were superficial.

The court had heard the accused ran in the direction of Parnell Street in an attempt to escape. He violently resisted arrest by gardai.

Judge Smyth accepted jurisdiction to deal with the case at district court level after viewing photos of the taxi driver's injuries.

Bickerstaff was married but separated and had three children, the court was told.

He was working with Circus Vegas, currently based at Coldcut Road, Liffey Valley, and due to travel to Courtown in Wexford, then Tramore in Waterford.

The accused would be returning home to Northern Ireland in November, said Rory Staines, defending.

Bickerstaff was not a performer but helped pitch tents and set up the circus.

Judge Smyth had granted cash bail of €500 on condition that the accused continued to reside at his current address at the circus.

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