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'worse for wear' No jail for bar-goer who attacked man after he repeatedly refused offer of drink

Kieran Kelly BL, defending, compared his client's behaviour on the night to Mrs Doyle from the Father Ted TV show.

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Barry Doyle, (40), of O'Dwyer Road, Walkinstown, Dublin pictured at the Criminal Courts of Justice(CCJ) on Parkgate Street, Dublin.  Pic: Collins Courts

Barry Doyle, (40), of O'Dwyer Road, Walkinstown, Dublin pictured at the Criminal Courts of Justice(CCJ) on Parkgate Street, Dublin. Pic: Collins Courts

Barry Doyle, (40), of O'Dwyer Road, Walkinstown, Dublin pictured at the Criminal Courts of Justice(CCJ) on Parkgate Street, Dublin. Pic: Collins Courts

A drinker in a hotel bar who attacked another man after the victim repeatedly refused the offer of a drink has received a fully suspended sentence.

Barry Doyle (40) threw Stephen Bradley to the ground and kicked him until staff pulled him away after the victim “saw red” and grabbed a ladle from the kitchen following Doyle's persistent offers to buy him a drink.

Kieran Kelly BL, defending, compared his client's behaviour on the night to Mrs Doyle from the Father Ted TV show.

Passing sentence today, Judge Karen O'Connor said the plea was accepted on the basis of “excessive self-defence” and noted that all parties appear to have been intoxicated.

The judge said Doyle has engaged fully with restorative justice since the offence. She noted an early guilty plea was entered during the pandemic when matters could have been delayed for some time had he taken a trial date.

Judge O'Connor sentenced Doyle to 12 months imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions including that he pass on €500 to the victim.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Mr Bradley, then aged 41, was drinking in the public bar of the Beacon Hotel in Sandyford, south Dublin on December 17, 2018 when Doyle and a friend approached him.

The victim told Doyle that he wanted to be left alone and didn't feel like talking. Doyle offered to buy the victim a drink a number of times but Mr Bradley declined the offer each time.

In an effort to stop the offers, Mr Bradley then named a very expensive whiskey and showed it to Doyle on his mobile phone, the court heard. Doyle threw the phone back at the victim and made a number of threats, Garda James O'Reilly told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting.

Mr Bradley said at this point he “saw red” and he walked into the hotel kitchen and grabbed a ladle.

He walked back to the bar and Doyle and his friend came towards him and threw him to the ground and began kicking him until staff pulled them away.

The victim used his hands to protect his head during the beating and was left with injuries to his arm.

Doyle of O'Dwyer Road, Walkinstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm. He has previous convictions for public order offences and criminal damage.

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Mr Kelly told the court that his instructions were that when Mr Bradley came back from the kitchen he walked up to his client and raised the ladle over his head. He said that his client “excessively defended” himself.

Counsel said that both men were the “worse for wear” with drink on the night and that there was no initial animosity between his client and the victim.

“That changed when Mr Bradley indicated that he wasn't interested in engaging in conversation,” counsel said.

Judge O'Connor said that the victim was entitled to sit on his own without being interfered with in any way and Mr Kelly said his client accepts that.

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