REPUBLIC of Ireland and Celtic striker Anthony Stokes head-butted and injured an Elvis impersonator during a row about a spilled drink in a Dublin nightclub, a court has heard.
The football star had been originally charged in March and made his second appearance at Dublin District Court yesterday where Judge Conal Gibbons asked to hear an outline of the prosecution’s evidence.
Stokes (25), who is from Dublin, is accused of assault causing harm to Elvis impersonator Anthony Bradley at Buck Whaley’s, on Leeson Street, on June 8 last year.
The alleged incident occurred several hours after the international between Ireland and the Faroe Islands at the Aviva.
The DPP had directed “summary disposal” meaning the district court would be a suitable trial venue, however Judge Gibbons did not agree.
After he heard a summary of the allegations and read medical reports on the complainant’s injuries, he held yesterday that the case was too serious to be dealt with at District Court level which, on conviction, can impose a maximum sentence of 12 months for the alleged offence.
This means Stokes could now be facing trial before a judge and jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.
Judge Gibbons said that as a result of his decision further directions from the DPP may be required.
The footballer was accompanied to the preliminary hearing by his father, John Stokes, who sat in the public gallery. Dressed in a dark suit, the Celtic player sat silently as an outline of the prosecution’s evidence was given.
The striker has not yet entered a plea to the charge and was remanded on continuing bail to appear again on July 17 after the judge ruled it would not be appropriate for the case to be heard in the district court.
In evidence, Det Garda Des Rogers told Judge Gibbons it would be alleged that on June 8, 2013, at Buck Whaley’s nightclub, “another unknown individual spilled a drink on the injured party and it is alleged Mr Stokes intervened and head-butted the injured party”.
Two medical reports were then handed into court for the judge to inspect.
Refusing jurisdiction, Judge Gibbons then said, “I have to say to you that based on these medical reports I do not think it is a minor offence.”
The details of the man’s injuries were not read out in court but the judge said that if they were such as described in the reports, “to my mind this is not a suitable case for the district court.
“This is a court of summary jurisdiction. I’m going to refuse jurisdiction, I do not think it is an appropriate case,” Judge Gibbons added.
Stokes, who lives at Bellhaven Terrace, Glasgow, was remanded on continuing bail to appear again on July 17, “for DPP directions”.
Mr Staines asked for permission to be let apply to the court for Stokes to be excused from attending the proceedings on the next date in light of his occupation. Judge Gibbons allowed it but specified that seven days’ notice must be given.