herald

Thursday 26 April 2018

Doorman cleared of choking garda who 'patted' girl

A BOUNCER has been cleared of choking an off-duty garda in an arm-lock after he was told to leave a pub for patting a female reveller on the bottom.

James Finnerty (27) had denied seriously assaulting Gda Peter O'Flynn outside a pub in Temple Bar, claiming he was taking a glass off the garda when he was pushed away.

Gda O'Flynn claimed he lost consciousness after he was grabbed around the neck from behind and fell to the ground.

However, defence lawyer Kevin White said the garda was "out of his mind drunk", was mouthing-off to Mr Finnerty and pushed him away when he tried to take the glass from him.

Mr Finnerty, of Castlefield Woods, Clonsilla, denied seriously assaulting Gda O'Flynn on April 1 last year.

Dublin District Court heard the officer was in the Quays Bar with friends and teammates after a St Vincent's GAA game.

He was asked to leave at around 2am after he patted a girl on her bottom, and she slapped him in the face.

CCTV footage showed him dancing and picking up a stool and waving it in the air.

Gda O'Flynn said he walked out the door with his glass. He was on the street when Mr Finnerty grabbed him from behind.

He said the defendant had his arm around his neck and he could not release his grip.

He said he remembered falling, and then waking up on a stretcher with one of his friends slapping him.

 

AGGRESSION

He said he had problems with his throat and neck and stiffness and pains going down his right side following the incident.

In cross-examination, Gda O'Flynn accepted he was drunk, but said he did not show any signs of aggression. He admitted his behaviour "wasn't great". His teammate, Barry Reynolds, claimed he was outside the pub having a cigarette when he saw Mr Finnerty grab Gda O'Flynn around the neck and bring him to the ground.

Barman Conor Furlong said he saw Mr Finnerty ask Gda O'Flynn for his glass. He went to take it and the two of them hit the ground.

Dismissing the case, Judge Anne Watkin said there was a possibility the defendant had over-reacted, but she could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt.

hnews@herald.ie

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