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Stokes faces arrest over headbutt case after missing court

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Former Ireland footballer Anthony Stokes missed court

Former Ireland footballer Anthony Stokes missed court

Court Collins.

Former Ireland footballer Anthony Stokes missed court

A judge has ordered the arrest of footballer Anthony Stokes, who is accused of headbutting a man in Dublin's Temple Bar.

The 32-year-old former Celtic and Republic of Ireland star from Dublin claims he acted in self-defence.

He was charged in April with assault causing harm to a man at Fitzgerald's pub on Aston Quay, in Dublin 2, on March 16 last year, which he denies.

He was due to appear again at Dublin District Court yesterday to have a hearing date set. However, neither the player nor his lawyer were there.

Judge Colin Daly was told the defendant has remained in regular contact with Garda Donal O'Neill, the prosecuting officer. A long adjournment was required for the hearing because the alleged injured party lived in the UK and was not willing to travel.

Judge Daly noted the accused and his lawyer were not before the court and he acceded to an application to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

Tougher

Mr Stokes, who has an address at Wyckham Point, in Dundrum, Dublin 14, "made no reply to the charge", the court heard on April 28 last.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed summary disposal so the case stays in the District Court and doesn't go to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers. Jurisdiction was accepted.

Garda O'Neill said it was alleged Mr Stokes headbutted the complainant once, "knocking him to the ground and temporarily losing consciousness".

The man did not suffer lasting injuries, the court was told.

On conviction, the District Court can impose a 12-month sentence for the offence.

Mr Stokes denies the charge "and says he acted at all times in self-defence", his solicitor said at a previous hearing.

The footballer had been ordered to abide by bail conditions. He has to continue living at his residence in Ireland, notify gardaí if he got work outside the State, and provide the employer's address and name.

He has given gardaí his mobile phone number and has to remain contactable.


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