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New Zealand rugby player spared jail for glassing man in Dublin bar

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
New Zealand rugby player spared jail for glassing man in Dublin bar

A RUGBY player from New Zealand, who may have left a trainee accountant's face permanently scarred from a glass attack at a popular Dublin hotel bar, has received a suspended sentence.

Tyron Davies (23), who has no fixed address in Ireland but was involved with a Kildare rugby club, handed over €5,000 to the victim and was given an eight-month sentence suspended on condition he does not re-offend within 12 months.

He pleaded guilty to assault causing harm in connection with the attack at Dicey Reilly's Bar in the Russell Court Hotel on Harcourt St on November 12 last.

Judge John Cheatle heard at Dublin District Court that the victim, a man in his mid-twenties, was left with three scars on his face. The trainee accountant feared they could affect his career and he may need plastic surgery.

Davies, who plans to return to New Zealand soon, brought a letter of apology and €200 to court for the man he left scarred. However, Judge Cheatle rejected that offer and said there would have to be a serious gesture of compensation.

The defence said Davies was living off his savings and did not have the €5,000 sum indicated by the court. 

They submitted that the victim had a right to seek compensation from the venue. However, Judge Cheatle said that may not succeed and the man may be left permanently disfigured.

He also said he was sure that Davies was "a young man who made a bad decision". Davies was given more time to get the money and then brought the €5,000 to court.

In evidence, Garda James McHugh said he arrived to find the victim in an ambulance receiving treatment to lacerations to his face. The court heard he had been involved in an altercation in the pub when words were exchanged with Davies who was not known to him.

Davies struck him in the face and he was "holding a glass at the time, the glass broke on impact which caused lacerations on his face". Davies also had a cut to his hand as a result of the glass breaking.

Davies had drink taken but was co-operative at all stages following his arrest. Gda McHugh said the 23-year-old made admissions when he was interviewed, did not realise the seriousness of it at the time and expressed remorse.

Gda McHugh agreed with defence solicitor Alice O'Reilly that when Davies came to his senses he was very shaken by his behaviour and was extremely emotional about his actions.

The garda also agreed that this incident had a huge effect on Davies who came to Ireland to do voluntary work in a Kildare rugby club.

He had no prior criminal convictions here and just a minor one in New Zealand for a road traffic offence. A letter from his employer was handed in to court.

Judge Cheatle noted from a victim impact statement that Davies left the man with three visible scars to his face: on his nose, under his eye and one on his cheek.

A plastic surgeon said he would have to wait six months to establish if the scars will heal naturally or require an operation. The scars under his eye and the under on his nose were clearing, however the mark on his cheek had not as lessened as much.

The court heard the trainee accountant feared the scars would affect his work and would not be very appealing to clients or employers.