Headbutted his female neighbour on club night out
ATTACK: Drunk must now pay compensation
A DRUNKEN reveller headbutted a neighbour as he was escorting her home from a nightclub after she started making comments about a fatal car crash in which his best friend died.
Keith Barry (28) was racing another car in Lusk in March 2006 when his car hit a wall, seriously injuring his front seat passenger, Paul Callaghan (24), who died in hospital two weeks later.
Barry's solicitor claimed the victim raised the topic of the crash as the pair walked home, saying to him, "you've not learnt your lesson and are still messing around in cars".
A judge ordered Barry to pay €1,000 compensation to the victim, and ordered him to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of five months in prison.
The defendant, of Minister's Road in Lusk, admitted before Swords District Court to assaulting a woman as he walked her home from Home nightclub in Balbriggan.
The incident took place at the Harbour, Balbriggan, shortly after 2.30am on February 28 last year.
Garda Brendan O'Brien said the victim did not suffer any lasting injuries, and had completely recovered from the assault within three weeks.
The garda said the victim admitted to gardai she brought up the car crash, and made some remarks to Barry about it.
The court heard Barry had two previous convictions, including a conviction for dangerous driving causing death in February 2008, for which he served a one-year sentence.
Defence solicitor Chris Horrigan said Barry was involved in a crash in which his friend was fatally injured, and he had served his sentence for that.
Mr Horrigan said the defendant, the victim, and the deceased all knew each other, and would have grown up together.
He said Barry and the victim were walking from the nightclub when she brought up the car crash, telling the defendant he'd not learnt his lesson and was still "messing" with cars.
Mr Horrigan said Barry and the victim had been drinking, and he was upset and reacted badly to her comments.
He said the incident had caused significant upset in the local community in Lusk, and alleged that Barry was subsequently assaulted.
Judge Patrick Brady accepted there was an "element of provocation" to Barry's attack, and ordered him to pay €1,000 compensation to the victim.
The judge also ordered Barry to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of five months in prison.