A young GAA player who broke a man’s jaw during an assault outside a chip shop may escape a conviction if he pays his victim compensation.
Samuel McGuinness assaulted Patrick Butterly, leaving him with a broken jaw, nine stitches to his eye brow and three staples to the back of his head.
Mr Butterly had previously told Balbriggan District Court that he lost 10kg in weight as he was unable to eat because of his broken jaw.
He also required physiotherapy to retrain his jaw to move and also received six cracked teeth which require crowns as a result of the assault.
He told the court his medical bills so far amounted to €42,791 which included attending a psychologist twice a week due to post-traumatic stress.
McGuinness, aged 24, of Brookfield Park in Rush, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Butterly causing him harm on October 5, 2013.
The court had heard that McGuinness, who plays Gaelic football for St Maur’s in Rush, assaulted Mr Butterly as he had drink on board and that Mr Butterly and McGuinness’ girlfriend were involved in an argument prior to the assault.
Solicitor for McGuinness, John Birmingham said the defendant has complied with all orders from the Rest-orative Justice Programme and that he has had no further attention from the gardaí.
“He has €1,000 with him — this is shy of what Mr Butterly is seeking but money is tight at the moment for Mr McGuinness,” Mr Birmingham said, explaining the defendant earns €450 a week from his banking job and has a mortgage and car repayments to make.
‘The incident could be seen as a flash in the pan with serious consequences,” said Mr Birmingham, adding that McGuinness is “held in high regard; and there are high hopes for his future.”
Judge Dermot Dempsey remarked that the offer of €1,000 “seems to be on the light side considering the injuries” the victim received, ordering that McGuinness comes up with €2,500 in compensation.
“If this money is discharged, I will take a certain course. He seems to have engaged with the Restorative Justice Programme,” said Judge Dempsey, adding that if the money isn’t paid by March 26 he will impose a default order of a conviction and €500 fine.
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