Former soldier admits punching man in the face during Cork card game

Former soldier admits punching man in the face during Cork card game
Derek Hackett pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to another man at the Riverstown Inn, Glanmire, Cork, on September 29, 2018. Hackett served 31 years in the Irish Army. Picture: Stock image

A card game in a pub got out of hand when one player punched another player four or five times to the face knocking him to the floor.

Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the background to the incident at Cork District Court in the case against Derek Hackett, of Ashlington, Brooklodge, Glanmire, Cork.

Derek Hackett, aged 51, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to another man at Riverstown Inn, Glanmire, on September 29, 2018.

Frank Buttimer solicitor said the defendant had brought €1,500 to Cork District Court as compensation for the injured party.

Judge Olann Kelleher said he would like to finalise the matter as soon as possible and also said that he would deal with the matter by avoiding an assault conviction for the accused. The only matter which Judge Kelleher wanted clarified in a fortnight’s time is if the injured party wants the compensation. If not, the compensation will be given instead to charity.

The judge said that one of the factors he was taking into consideration in avoiding a conviction for the accused was the fact that Hackett had given such honourable service to the State in a period of 31 years with the Irish Army.

Mr Buttimer said the defendant had done nine overseas tours of duty including terms with the United Nations in Lebanon, Kosovo, and Chad.

Sgt John Kelleher said that following some incident in a card game at the pub, CCTV showed the defendant strike the injured party four or five times in the face causing him to fall to the floor and sustain a rib injury.

Mr Buttimer said the defendant apologised for his actions on the night. The solicitor said that after the defendant’s distinguished career in the military, he had suffered a lot of anguish as a result of his actions on the night of the card game.

Judge Kelleher said that in terms of avoiding the recording of a conviction against the defendant for this matter: “I have to take into consideration that he has a very good record of service to the State.”

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