herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Taxi driver broke woman's nose in row at Aslan gig

A FATHER-of-three broke a woman's nose, leaving her unconscious and bleeding when a row broke out between them at an Aslan gig in a Dublin pub, a court heard.

Taxi driver Derek McDonnell (44) attacked the victim over an alleged threat she made that he would be "killed" outside the bar that night.

She was floored by the punch to the nose and was taken to hospital as the concert by the popular Dublin band was in progress at the packed pub.

Denying a charge of common assault, McDonnell claimed the victim, Carmelia Meehan came at him with a glass or bottle and she "ran into his fist" when he raised it in self-defence.

Judge John O'Neill ruled that while there had been "some provocation", the accused had not been entitled to do what he did.

He said he would leave McDonnell without a conviction if he paid €500 in compensation to Ms Meehan.

McDonnell, of Grangemore Crescent, Donaghmede, had pleaded not guilty to assaulting the victim in an incident at the Player's Lounge, Fairview on October 9, 2009.

Ms Meehan told Dublin District Court she was at the gig when the accused's sister Linda Murphy tapped her on the shoulder.

When she turned, the accused was there and was swinging at her. He gave her a "dig" in the face which knocked her over and she was unconscious for a short time.

She said she suffered a broken nose and was taken to the Mater Hospital for treatment.

Defence barrister Emmet Nolan said Ms Meehan was exaggerating her injuries. She denied this.

Doorman Gordon Rogers said he witnessed the accused punching Ms Meehan in the face and did not see her run at the accused.

The defendant's brother John McDonnell alleged that earlier in the night, Ms Meehan had said to him: "You are going to get killed outside".

The court heard there had been an altercation in an Abrakebabra some weeks earlier.

The accused and his brother told the bouncers there was going to be "trouble".

McDonnell alleged Ms Meehan ran at him and put his own hand up to push her back into the crowd.

His fist connected with her face and she took a few steps back but did not fall, he said. He was "tackled" by a bouncer who took him outside.

He claimed that two bouncers then took him to the ambulance where Ms Meehan told them: "Yeah, he bottled or slashed me".

Linda Murphy denied tapping the victim on the shoulder or witnessing the incident at all.

Judge O'Neill said it had been an "unfortunate end to the night for everybody".

hnews@herald.ie

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