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warrant issued Man (19) attacked couple when they told him to stop beating girlfriend

A witness said he saw the accused hit the woman, who fell to the ground, where he continued to kick her.

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The Luas stop in Rialto where the attack occurred. Library photo

The Luas stop in Rialto where the attack occurred. Library photo

The Luas stop in Rialto where the attack occurred. Library photo

A "VIOLENT" man attacked a husband and wife when they witnessed him beating his girlfriend on a city street and asked him to stop.

John Donovan (19) punched the husband in the head and the wife in the ribs when they intervened in his "awful" treatment of the young woman at a Luas stop, a court heard.

Judge Treasa Kelly found him guilty of assaulting the couple and issued a warrant at Dublin District Court for his arrest and sentencing.

Donovan, of Scarlet Street, Drogheda, Co Louth, pleaded not guilty but failed to turn up in court for the hearing of his case.


The court heard the couple, Gavin Fitzgerald and Sibeal Davitt, were passing the Luas stop in Rialto as they walked home at midnight on April 4 last year.

Mr Fitzgerald said he saw Donovan shouting at a woman who he assumed was the accused's girlfriend.

As they passed, he kept an eye on the accused and saw him hit the woman, who fell to the ground, where he continued to kick her.

"Myself and my wife turned around and said stop," he told the court .

Donovan immediately ran at the couple and hit Mr Fitzgerald on the head.

His wife came between them and Donovan "hit her in the crossfire". The accused's girlfriend then came and broke them up, he said.

The accused was aggressive, very violent and "clearly drunk or drugged up", he said. Mr Fitzgerald said he was just trying to protect the woman the accused was beating and "I got hit in the process."

In cross-examination, the witness told defence solicitor Mervyn Harnett he did not see the woman hit the man, and the accused "was the aggressor, 100pc".

Ms Davitt said she saw the man beating a young girl, hitting her in the stomach.

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It was "really awful" and Ms Davitt shouted "hey, stop."

At this, the accused "got really angry" and "went straight for us".

"He started hitting Gavin, he also hit me in the ribs," she said. She had some pain in her side and her husband had a bump on the head, but they did not need treatment.

Garda Edel Murphy said the accused was near the scene when she arrived and was identified by the victims.

Judge Kelly said she was satisfied to convict after hearing the evidence.

The accused had previous convictions for offences including assault.

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