herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Student broke man's nose with headbutt in nightclub birthday row

A SPORTS and fitness student fractured another man's nose with a headbutt in a nightclub.

Piotr Baron (22) left the man, also a student, covered in blood and suffering an injury that required surgery and left a scar, Dublin District Court heard.

He had been asked to stop "throwing himself around" the dancefloor when he carried out the assault.

Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned sentencing in the last to a later date after finding Baron guilty, ruling that he had "over-reacted to a threat he perceived to be there".

Baron, a UCD student with an address at Springfort Meadows, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, had denied a charge of assault causing harm to Jack Somerville at the Village Nightclub in Wexford Street, Dublin.

He admitted headbutting him, but said it was self-defence, claiming that Mr Somerville, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, swung a punch at him.

Mr Somerville said he had been drinking at his house on March 9 last year before going to the club and had up to 12 bottles on the night.

He said there was an argument between a friend of his and the accused and he walked over and told Baron to "cop the f*** on".

The accused headbutted him in the face and he was left bleeding from a cut to the bridge of his nose.

SURGERY

He pointed out the accused to staff and was taken to the toilets.

He suffered a fracture which required surgery and left a scar.

Cross-examined by defence barrister David Staunton, he denied throwing a punch at the accused.

He accepted he was drunk, but "not to the point that he didn't know what was going on".

The victim's friend, Cian Whelehan, gave evidence that Baron had been aggressive and pushing into their group. He said Mr Somerville approached him twice to ask him to "calm down" before being headbutted. Security guard Declan Duffy said he saw the victim "covered in blood" but Baron had no sign of injury.

Judge Smyth accepted there were some discrepancies in the prosecution evidence, but said Baron had over-reacted.

The accused had no previous convictions.

He was originally from Poland, came from a respectable family and was "starting out on his path in life".

As well as studying, he was working as a volunteer in a gym.

There was "no malice aforethought" in the assault, Mr Staunton said.

Mr Somerville told the court the incident had "knocked his confidence back a bit", but he was "okay now", although he was unhappy to have been left with a scar.

Judge Smyth adjourned the case until a date next month.

aphelan@herald.ie

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