Man who assaulted prison officer in nightclub ordered to pay €35k
A man who assaulted a prison officer on a night out in Lillie's Bordello nightclub has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to gather €35,000 within six months.
Jason Bowers (31) told gardaí that he had been drinking on the night and a “red mist” had descended following a verbal interaction. His defence counsel described the incident as an “aberration” and characterised him as “a good man who did a bad thing”.
Bowers, with an address at Rochdale Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin but who now lives and works in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at the nightclub on Grafton Street on December 22, 2014. He has no previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said Bowers had become “enraged and infuriated” for some reason following a verbal interaction with his victim and committed a “short but savage” assault.
He said he felt Bowers was entitled to one chance but that he had to punish him in some way.
Judge Nolan imposed a three year sentence which he suspended in full on conditions including that Bowers hand over the €10,000 he had brought to court within seven days and hand over a further €25,000 within six months.
“This is being levied to punish him. Every punishment should fit the perpetrator” said Judge Nolan.
He noted that the injured party has indicated he was not interested in receiving money and said the court could decide where the money should go if that remained the case.
Garda Darren Reid told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that earlier in the evening in a different pub there had been an interaction between the prison officers group and a girl who spilled a drink.
Later in Lillie's Bordello the man saw the girl again and made a sarcastic remark such as “nice one for buying the round.” He then remembered speaking to a man and shaking hands with him. He said he did not feel the situation was hostile.
The next thing he remembered was being hit hard to the head. He later woke up in hospital where he received treatment for a broken bone in his eye socket and a laceration to his tongue.
Bowers had head-butted the man and then punched him in quick succession. The man tried to run away but Bowers followed him and struck him again, knocking him to the ground. He then punched the man at least five times and kicked him once as he lay on the ground before he was pulled away.
Gda Reid agreed with Dean Kelly BL, defending, that Bowers said he was extremely remorseful. He told gardaí a “red mist” had descended.
The prison officer completed a victim impact statement outlining that in his work he had to be confident and assertive but he now sometimes found himself nervous and self doubting.
He said the assault had also effected his personal, social and family life especially around Christmas time when the attack had occurred. He did not know if he would ever be the same person again.
Mr Kelly said Bowers had a strong work history and had studied in UCD prior to moving to the Middle East a number of years ago. He said it was unlikely he would ever come to garda attention again.