Santa-hat thug punched pub victim in face
A TEEN "thug" wearing a Santa hat beat a pub-goer in the face after his friends tackled the victim to the ground in an attack on a night out before Christmas.
Hugh Macken (18) had earlier spilt the victim's drink and punched him in the face and head, before assaulting him again outside, when the man left the bar with his girlfriend.
Dublin District Court heard the victim, Darragh Fagan, had been sitting with his girlfriend when Macken punched him in an "unprovoked and serious, aggravated assault".
A judge adjourned the case to hear from the victim before sentencing.
Macken, with an address at Henley Park, Churchtown, pleaded guilty to assault on Mr Fagan at the Old Dubliner Pub in Temple Bar on December 21 last. A garda sergeant told the court the injured party was in the pub with his girlfriend at 12.20am when Macken knocked over their drinks accidentally by falling on their table in a drunken state.
Mr Fagan went to leave with his girlfriend and Macken punched him in the back of the head. When he turned around, the accused punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose.
Macken then waited outside with a group of 10 men he was with. As Mr Fagan and his girlfriend left, they had to pass the group and "words were exchanged".
One of the group tackled him to the ground and Macken punched him two to three more times in the face, leaving him with a black eye.
The victim did not seek medical attention and had no lasting injury.
The court heard the Macken was out celebrating Christmas with his fellow students. He was in first year in college.
Judge Cormac Dunne said he put the incident at the highest end for common assault.
He said the accused's behaviour could only be categorised as "thuggery of the highest scale".
He said the court was not aware how the victim had been affected mentally by the assaults.
Addressing the court, Macken's father said his first concern had been for the welfare of the victim.
He added that his son had never been in trouble before and the incident was "totally out of character".
The judge adjourned the case to a date in March.