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12 stitches Community service for man who hit woman in face with pint glass at birthday party

Gavin Byrne (47) pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Molloy's Bar & Grill on February 3, 2019. He has no previous convictions

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Gavin Byrne leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Collins Courts

Gavin Byrne leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Collins Courts

Gavin Byrne leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Collins Courts

A father-of-two who threw a pint glass at a man but accidentally hit the man's sister in the face has been ordered to complete 150 hours of community service.

Gavin Byrne (47) with an address at Old Bridge View, Lucan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Molloy's Bar & Grill, Main Street, Tallaght, on February 3, 2019. He has no previous convictions.

Garda Shauna Higgins told Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, Fiona Norman (30) had organised a surprise birthday party for her mother in the Tallaght pub and that around 30 of her family members attended.

Gda Higgins said that in the early hours of the morning, Ms Norman saw her brothers having words with a group of men which included the accused. She stood in the middle of them briefly before leaving and heading back towards the bar.

Byrne threw an empty pint glass at one of the victim's brothers, but he ducked and the glass hit Ms Norman instead on her chin. She required 12 stitches to repair the damage and has been left with a scar.

In interview with gardaí, Byrne said that he had drunk more than usual on the night and was aware that some people had been giving him “hassle”. He said he had no recollection of the incident and said he felt “physically ill” when it was described to him by gardaí.

Gda Higgins agreed with Kieran Kelly BL, defending, that it seems something was said or done to his client which “got to him” and he flung the glass. She agreed that Byrne had never been in trouble before and was not on the radar of gardaí.

Mr Kelly said his client wants to put on the record his “regret and sorrow”. He said his client is apologetic and had brought a bank draft of €10,000 to court as a symbol of his remorse which the victim is willing to accept.

Counsel said his client is a married man with two children who is in full time employment. He said his client has attended counselling in the aftermath of the incident due to the serious effect it has had on him.

Judge Karen O'Connor said the offence had a “significant impact” on the victim in respect of her anxiety and her lack of sense of safety and security having previously been “an outgoing confident person”.

Judge O'Connor said she was of the opinion that Byrne will not be before the court again. She said he has been deemed suitable to carry out community service and she thought it was important he “pay a debt to society”.

She ordered Byrne to complete 150 hours of community service in lieu of a two year sentence of imprisonment. She ordered that he complete this within 12 months.

Judge O'Connor also ordered that the bank draft of €10,000 be handed over to the victim within seven days.

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