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assault Bouncer bitten by fisherman in nightclub feared he could have contracted a disease, court hears


Mr Gray was working as a doorman at Sixth on Teeling when he was assaulted by Thomas Cassidy. Pic: Donal Hackett

Mr Gray was working as a doorman at Sixth on Teeling when he was assaulted by Thomas Cassidy. Pic: Donal Hackett

Mr Gray was working as a doorman at Sixth on Teeling when he was assaulted by Thomas Cassidy. Pic: Donal Hackett

A bouncer who was bitten by a patron of a nightclub in Sligo feared he could have contracted a disease following the assault, Sligo District Court has heard.

Justin Gray was a doorman of the former nightclub 'Sixth on Teeling' on February 22, 2018 when the assault by Thomas Cassidy of Garmin Lane, Tullahan, Co Leitrim, took place.

Garda Denis Fitzgerald read out Mr Gray's victim impact statement to the court which outlined the assault.

Mr Gray said he was working on the night in question when Cassidy came to the door. He noticed Cassidy had a mark on his eye that looked as if he just received it. The victim said Cassidy seemed like 'a nice fella' so he let him into the nightclub.

Cassidy was causing trouble on the dance floor a time later and the doorman asked him to come off the dance floor.

"He started to try and hit me in the ribs and put his forehead on my nose and said he'd break it," Mr Gray detailed.

The victim received a 'thump' to the chest and fell back and on walking away he felt his t shirt stick to him and noticed blood on his chest. Gardaí later arrested Cassidy.

The following day having a shower Mr Gray realised the damage done. He had to ring his place of work and inform them he could not attend work and attended his doctor.

When it was realised it was a human bite Mr Gray was informed about possible disease and became worried, He received a stitch, a tetanus shot and was tested for Hepatitis B and other infections.

Mr Gray said he could not kiss his family while he waited for results and was worried he could be infected and pass something on to his family and he had to take time off work.

As a result of the assault he gave up the security work and said it impacted his work in regarding people being in his personal space.

The court was told he did not wish for Cassidy to go to jail and he just wanted his medical costs covered and a donation to be made to Inspire Wellbeing in Grange.

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Solicitor, Mr Gerard McGovern, acting for Cassidy informed the court the doorman had been wearing three layers of clothing on the night.

Cassidy had 28 previous convictions, mostly for public order offences. Mr McGovern said his client works hard at sea as a fisherman, but unfortunately when he is on 'dry land' he 'drinks it up'.

Cassidy told the court he had been taking Valium since he was a teenager and abusing drugs. He said he did not want to go to prison but instead, go fishing.

He said he would come up with compensation.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said out of kindness the victim had taken a chance on Cassidy.

"He let that man down, and let himself down," said the judge.

Judge Kilrane measured compensation at €3,000 and adjourned the matter to a special court sitting on October 22nd next. He told Cassidy if there was a credible allegation of wrongdoing in the interim, to "bring a suitcase with you for Castlerea [prison]."

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