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Saturday 24 August 2019

'Gentle' punch in brawl led to clot on brain, court hears

Pat Feeney is charged with assault causing harm
Pat Feeney is charged with assault causing harm

A man who was struck with a "gentle" punch in a brawl outside a pub fell to the ground and suffered a life-threatening head injury, a court heard.

Pat Feeney (67) is accused of assaulting the man, who later had emergency surgery to remove a clot from his brain.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican ruled the case was too serious to be dealt with at Dublin District Court and adjourned it for a book of evidence.

Mr Feeney, of Mercer Street, Dublin 2, is charged with ass-ault causing harm to the man at Mary's Street Little, Dublin 1, in October 2017.

The court heard it was all-eged the accused punched the victim, who fell back and hit his head on the ground.

The case was before Judge Coolican for consideration of jurisdiction after the DPP consented to the case being heard at district court level.

Reading a medical report, Judge Coolican noted the head injury resulted in a haematoma and haemorrhage.

Deteriorated

During his treatment, the victim's condition deteriorated, the haematoma expanded and he was transferred to Beaumont Hospital for emergency surgery to remove the clot.

The opinion of the consultant neurosurgeon was that it had been a life-threatening injury.

The victim said he had lost his sense of taste and smell and could not work for two months.

Asking the judge to accept jurisdiction, defence solicitor Colleen Gildernew said the alleged incident was a "brawl" in which her client was not the initial aggressor.

She accepted it was a "horrific" injury, but said there were unusual circumstances.

The accused was surprised to learn what happened as the alleged punch was a "fairly gentle blow".

Gda Niall Cadden said that from speaking with the alleged victim, he "doesn't hold any grievances".

People were wrongly accused of something and a third party was the main instigator, Gda Cadden said.

The garda view is that neither the accused nor alleged victim wanted an argument at all.

"I can't accept jurisdiction," Judge Coolican said. "The outcome was he had brain surgery."

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