A HERO bus passenger who went to the assistance of two young women who were being mugged ended up being attacked by the robbers.
However, a court heard he punched one of his two assailants so hard in self-defence that he injured his hand.
One of the attackers, Patrick Geoghegan, was jailed for six months when he admitted his part in the attack and robbery on board a double-decker Dublin Bus in Tallaght.
Geoghegan (40), with an address at Cushlawn Drive, Tallaght, admitted a charge of assaulting Paul Keane.
He also admitted robbing one of the girls of a necklace in the incident as the bus was on its way to the city centre at Old Blessington Road, Tallaght, on April 7 last year.
Dublin District Court heard it was an "unusual" case in which the only injury suffered by the victim resulted from the strength of the punch he delivered to the defendant, who was "out of his head" on drugs.
Garda Cian Stears told the court two women were downstairs on the bus when Geoghegan snatched a piece of jewellery worth €70 from one of their necks.
"(Mr Keane) tried to come to the aid of the female passengers and the accused and the injured party were involved in a scuffle. The injured party hit back so hard he injured his hand," Garda Stears said.
"The defendant was with another male and when the injured party came to the girls' aid, the two men turned on him.
"I don't know if he intended retrieving the item, but he asked them to leave the girls alone. There were a number of blows exchanged as (the injured party) fought back. He used force to flee the bus and got off as he was in fear of the two males."
The two women were uninjured and fled upstairs, hiding there until the gardai arrived. There were around 20 on the bus at the time.
Geoghegan was arrested close by and the second man was not before the court.
Sentencing him, Judge Ann Watkin said the accused had been prepared to take something by force in a violent fashion in front of a lot of people, in broad daylight.