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Man who punched two sisters in the face during hen party row avoids jail

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Luka Tomljanovic

Luka Tomljanovic

Luka Tomljanovic

A man who believed he was defending his fiancee when he punched two sisters in the face at a hen party has received a fully suspended sentence.

Luka Tomljanovic (33), of Gardiner Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm at Sams Bar, Dawson Street, Dublin, on January 19, last year. He had no previous convictions.

Detective Garda Fiona Deehy told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that early on the date in question, sisters Aoife and Shauna O'Connor were attending a hen party in the city centre bar.

Det Gda Deehy said Tomljanovic and his fiancee were part of a group sitting in the bar near the hen party.

The accused's fiancee began to dance in the sisters' faces, who felt as though she was trying to intimidate them.

The dispute began when a bottle struck and smashed the glass Aoife O'Connor was holding in her hand. The bottle was thrown by another person in who was part of the same group as the accused.

A row began between the accused's fiancee and the other women in the hen party, with pushing and shoving on both sides.

Restrained

Tomljanovic arrived into the middle of the row and threw nine punches, two of which struck Aoife O'Connor in the face and one which struck her sister Shauna in the face.

Tomljanovic was then restrained by security.

Tomljanovic told gardai he saw people gathering around his fiancee and pulling her hair.

He said he was trying to move people away by punching them and he was aware he was punching women.

Det Gda Deehy agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that his client also punched two other women, neither of whom reported any injuries.

She agreed his client felt the assaults were something he needed to do to protect his fiancee.

Mr Le Vert said his client had €2,500 in court as an offer of compensation to the victims.

He said his client is unemployed and that he is planning a wedding.

Judge Melanie Greally said it appeared to have been "a one-off and out-of-character event" and that he is unlikely to reoffend.

Judge Greally sentenced Tomljanovic to 12 months' jail but suspended the sentence on condition that he hand over the €2,500 to the victims or a domestic violence charity.