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Stokes acted 'in self-defence' as he denies pub head-butt charge

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Soccer player Anthony Stokes outside court yesterday

Soccer player Anthony Stokes outside court yesterday

Soccer player Anthony Stokes outside court yesterday

A former Ireland international footballer head-butted a man in a Dublin city centre pub during last year's St Patrick's festival, it has been alleged.

Anthony Stokes (31) appeared in Dublin District Court yesterday accused of assaulting the man.

Judge Anthony Halpin adjourned the case after hearing Mr Stokes "vehemently denied" the allegations and maintained he acted in self-defence.

The former Republic of Ireland striker, who has played for clubs including Celtic, Hibernian, Sunderland and Blackburn, was remanded on bail.

Mr Stokes, with an address at Wyckham Point, Dundrum, Dublin, is charged with assault causing harm to a named man.

The offence is alleged to have happened at Fitzgerald's Bar, Aston Quay on March 16, 2019.

Garda Donal O'Neill said he arrested the accused at Pearse Street Garda Station for the purpose of charging.

He made no reply to the charge after caution. He was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Gda O'Neill said there was no objection to bail subject to conditions.

Jurisdiction

He told Judge Halpin the DPP had directed summary disposal of the case at district court level subject to jurisdiction being considered.

Outlining the prosecution's case, the garda said it was alleged the accused assaulted the man by head-butting him once, knocking him to the ground.

The man temporarily lost consciousness but there was no lasting damage or effect, the garda said.

He agreed with Judge Halpin that there were no permanent injuries.

The judge accepted jurisdiction to deal with the case in the district court.

Mr Stokes's solicitor, Peter Corrigan, said "it's the case that he vehemently denies the charge".

Mr Stokes had been at the bar with his girlfriend and "acted at all times in self-defence, proportionately", Mr Corrigan said.

Bail conditions being sought by gardai were fully consented to and "he will comply with each and every one of them".

The accused had attended voluntarily at the garda station, he said. Judge Halpin granted bail in Mr Stokes's own bond of €200, with no cash lodgement required.

Under conditions, Mr Stokes must reside at the address provided and if he takes up employment outside the jurisdiction, he must furnish gardai with the employer's name and address.

He is to be available at all times at the phone number provided, "as he has done throughout the investigation".

Mr Stokes, who has just finished a stint at Iranian club Persepolis, sat dressed in a black shirt and jeans throughout the brief hearing.

He put a blue face mask on during the proceedings and was not required to speak.

He won nine senior caps for Ireland between 2007 and 2014.