NewsCourts

Dublin cyclist 'beaten and strangled for riding bike on footpath'

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
David Corcoran
David Corcoran

A SENIOR company executive shouldered a cyclist to the ground and began strangling and beating him for riding his bike on a Dublin city-centre footpath, a court has heard.

David Corcoran (50) with an address at Collinswood, Whitehall, in Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Philip Fitzgerald who suffered dental injuries during the incident at Clanwilliam Terrace in D. 2 on July 1 last year.

Judge Michael Walsh said Corcoran's actions were completely disproportionate but he ruled that he can avoid a criminal record and a possible sentence by paying €3,930 to cover Mr Fitzgerald's medical expenses and new false teeth, and he must donate €2,500 to charity. 

Garda Brian Cleary told Dublin District Court that Corcoran was walking along Clanwilliam Terrace when a cyclist approached on the footpath. Gda Cleary said Corcoran shouldered Mr  Fitzgerald off his bicycle causing him to fall to the ground. 

The incident happened at about 10.30am.

The court heard Corcoran punched Mr Fitzgerald in the face and head and got him into a headlock and “kneed him while he was in a headlock”. The attack was stopped when members of the public intervened and broke up the fight.

Mr Fitzgerald suffered dental injuries and his face was scratched.

He told Judge Walsh he has recovered and the court heard he faced €3,930 in medical expenses.

Pleading for leniency defence solicitor Eugene Dunne said his client was a senior company executive who had no prior criminal convictions. 

He said cyclists using the footpath had been a problem in the area. Vans were parked on the side of the path and his client leaned in and the hit the bike causing the cyclist to come off, the solicitor said

But Judge Walsh said the businessman went further than that and had used the strap of the victim's helmet “to try and strangle him, the effect was strangulation”.

Mr Dunne said Corcoran is apologetic for his behaviour and prepared to pay the cyclist's out of pocket expenses and to donate money to charity.

Judge Walsh noted Corcoran first saw Mr Fitzgerald approaching on his bike when he was 20 feet away and he said the company executive could have stood back to let him pass. 

The judge accepted it can be annoying but said “we live in a congested city and sometimes needs must”.

The defence solicitor said the cyclist should not have been on the path however Judge Walsh described Corcoran's actions as disproportionate. “It was not more than a very temporary minor nuisance, we have it on every street of the city but we do not get someone by the throat and try and strangle them,” the judge said, adding that it was a very serious offence.

However, he was also told by Gda Cleary that Corcoran was co-operative and the victim was happy if he gets his dentures replaced and he will be able to put it behind him.

Noting his remorse, Judge Walsh adjourned the case saying he will strike it out if Corcoran pays €3,930 to the victim to cover his dental injuries and donates €2,500 to the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin which helps people in need.