Man broke stranger's nose in Coppers as he thought he'd taken his change

Kelvin Lynch pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault
Kelvin Lynch pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault

A man has been given a suspended sentence for breaking a stranger's nose in Copperface Jack's nightclub because he thought he had taken his change.

Kelvin Lynch (24) had just ordered drinks at the bar when he wrongly believed another young man, Barry Fitzgerald, had taken his change from the barman.

He head butted Mr Fitzgerald, leaving him with a broken nose and a broken front tooth.

Lynch of Wolfe Tone Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm in the nightclub on Harcourt Street on April 19, 2015.

Mr Fitzgerald was in the city centre that day watching a Dublin match. He went to two pubs before going to Copperface Jack's at around 2am.

Prosecuting counsel Fiona Murphy BL said he went straight to the bar on arrival to order some drinks. Lynch was also at the bar waiting for his change from a €50 note after buying three drinks.

Ms Murphy said there was some “confusion”, and Lynch grabbed Mr Fitzgerald by the hand when he thought he was walking off with his change. He then head butted the victim.

Lynch was restrained by security and made full admissions when gardaí arrived. Mr Fitzgerald was taken to hospital. He later required surgery to fix his nose. However, the court heard he must get it broken again because it is still not straight.

Conor McKenna BL, defending, said his client was willing to hand over €5,000 to the victim “as a token of his remorse.”

Counsel said Lynch worked in human resources and had a promising career ahead of him. He has no previous convictions and comes from a good family, Mr McKenna said.

Judge Melanie Greally said the attack “is characteristic of a culture of people feeling they can engage in very significant violence for very little reason.”

She imposed a three year sentence which she suspended for three years and ordered that the money be paid over to Mr Fitzgerald.