Longford judge clears man of assault charge

Longford judge clears man of assault charge

A man who broke another man’s jaw after a late night row at a Longford pub has been cleared of any criminal conviction by Judge Seamus Hughes.

Michael Neary, 9 Iarnrod, Lisbrack, Longford was charged with assault causing harm to Yasir Mansor at Dublin Road, Longford on February 8 2015.

The 42-year-old, through his legal representative, claimed he had used “proportional” force when it was alleged a phone belonging to Mr Neary was in the possession of Mr Mansor.

The alleged victim claimed no knowledge of the assertion which was being made against him, instead insisting he had spent much of the evening playing poker on a machine inside the pub.

A friend of Mr Neary’s, Shane Kennedy put forward a different version of events however.

He told the court of his attempts to secure a taxi home by asking Mr Neary if he could contact a number which was stored on the defendant’s phone.

Mr Neary however replied, saying he did not know where his phone was which prompted Mr Kennedy to dial his friend’s number from his own mobile.

“That was when Mick’s (Mr Neary) phone started to ring from Mr Mansor’s pocket,” said Mr Kennedy.

When confronted, Mr Kennedy said Mr Mansor claimed the phone was in fact his, a response which led to a confrontation and a request for Mr Mansor to leave the premises.

Mr Kennedy added when Mr Mansor allegedly grabbed his jacket a quantity of cigarettes fell on to the ground along with three other mobile phones.

He said Mr Mansor soon became agitated and aggressive when asked to leave due to the fact he had money still stored in the pub’s poker machine.

It was at that point Mr Kennedy said Mr Neary struck Mr Mansor in the face with his hand.

“He was on the verge of exiting the premises and was being guided towards the door,” said Mr Kennedy, who maintained he was around a dozen steps behind as the incident unfolded.

“We closed the door. Mick was a bit shaken up by it and said we had to call the guards,” said Mr Kennedy.

It was further claimed that following the alleged scuffle, Mr Mansor proceeded to kick at the pub door in between walking up and down Dublin Street.

Defence solicitor Frank Geary followed up Mr Kennedy’s evidence by stressing his client had been “proportional in his use of force”.

Judge Hughes also heard there had been a delay in the case being reported to gardaí but when it was investigating officers discovered Mr Mansor had suffered a broken jaw as a result.

In summing up the case, Judge Hughes questioned whether Mr Neary had met the court’s satisfaction in using a reasonable level of force.

As such he asked Mr Neary if he would be willing to offer his alleged victim €200-€300 “so he can have a nice candlelit dinner” at a venue of his choosing.

“If I get €300 I am willing to give a dismissal,” he told Mr Neary.

After lunch, Mr Gearty told the judge Mr Neary had handed Mr Mansor the required €300, causing the charge against Mr Neary to be dismissed.

A man who was caught urinating along a busy street in north Longford has been fined €250 by Judge Seamus Hughes.

Patrick McDonnell, of St Anne’s, Clonturk, Longford pleaded guilty to urinating in a public place at Main Street, Granard on September 4 2016.