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Student cleared of battering girlfriend

A STUDENT who had been accused of beating his teenage girlfriend in a city hotel while threatening to "put a bullet" in her seven-year-old brother's head has been found not guilty.

Daryl Coyle (20) had been accused of getting the girl in a headlock, bashing her head off a bedroom door, punching her in the face, kicking her in the stomach and "stomping" on her as she lay on the floor.

Mr Coyle was found not guilty of assault causing harm to his then-girlfriend Jade O'Brien (18) at the Dublin Airport Bewley's Hotel.

Coyle, of Kippure Park, Finglas, had denied the charge in the incident on April 27, 2010.

He admitted charges of public drunkenness and causing a breach of the peace and a judge said she would consider leaving him without convictions.

Coyle had been taking "head shop" drugs and drinking all day but denied attacking Ms O'Brien in the hotel.

Clearing him of the assault charge, Judge Ann Watkin said she had "huge doubts" about the alleged victim's evidence.

Dublin District Court heard the now-estranged couple had been out together all day at the Edenmore House pub with Mr Coyle's father.

They went on to Bewley's Hotel, where the defendant's father booked two rooms. The defendant and Ms O'Brien were left alone in the bar after his father and a woman he was with went to their room.

Ms O'Brien said she took no drugs and was not drinking. She claimed that after they had a row, she left the table and he tripped her up, laughing when she fell.

She maintained after she slapped him in the face, he got her in a headlock, twisting her head.



BOOKED

Ms O'Brien said she went upstairs to the other room that was booked and asked staff to keep the accused away from her, but he followed and attacked her.

Mr Coyle denied this, saying she tripped on a chair in the bar, and that he only reached around her to get his key when she "swiped" it. He insisted they had both been drinking and taking "snow blow".

He admitted arguing with her but although he could not remember much of what happened next, denied hitting her, saying: "I am not that person."

He had no previous convictions.

Judge Ann Watkin said she believed the accused's evidence, while she found Ms O'Brien "lacked credibility".

aphelan@herald.ie