Nightclub assault case dismissed
LACK OF CCTV FOOTAGE IRRELEVANT AS GARDA WITNESS NOT IN COURT
A MAN charged with assaulting a doorman during a disturbance outside a nightclub, had the case struck out by Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla at Wexford District Court because a garda witness was not in court.
A solicitor for Keith Stokes, 30 Beechlawn, Clonard had argued for a dismissal on the grounds that CCTV footage of the alleged incident was not produced by the gardai.
The defendant was charged with assaulting Colm Kane at Commercial Quay on June 28, 2009. He denied the offence.
His solicitor Eric Furlong said there was a melee in a laneway beside a nightclub. Another individual who had since gone abroad, was involved in a serious assault.
The only evidence being offered against his client was the evidence of the doorman. He alleged that the defendant went to the aid of the other person whom a number of doormen had on the ground.
His client admitted doing that because there was a heavy-handed approach towards the person on the ground who happened to be his brother, said Mr. Furlong.
When he went to his brother's assistance, there was a kerfuffle between him and the doorman but that was it.
Mr. Furlong said that all the statements he received through a Gary Doyle Order related to the main incident. There was no statement relating to the charge against his client apart from two lines in the statement of the doorman.
He said the gardai recovered CCTV footage relating to the other incident but not in relation to the alleged incident involving his client.
Inspector Pat McDonald said there was no CCTV footage relating to the incident in question and added that in line with a recent Supreme Court recommendation, there wasn't an onus on the gardai to go back and seek out every piece of CCTV footage in the town.
The Inspector told Judge O Buachalla : ' To cut the matter short, the garda witness isn't here.'
'I would then ask for you to strike it out,' said Mr. Furlong.
' Strike out, but for the second reason,' commented the Judge.