Man cleared of attack on pal

A West Cork man accused of breaking his best friend’s cheekbone with a punch to the face after drinking 15 Jaegerbombs, five or six bottles of Heineken, and 10 to 12 shots of tequila has been acquitted.

A jury unanimously found him not guilty of assault causing harm yesterday at the end of a two-day trial.

One of the pieces of prosecution evidence was the defendant’s text to his friend in hospital, which read: “Hey lad, sorry about last night. I don’t know what happened. I’ll pay your hospital bill. Sorry.”

In the trial at Cork Circuit Criminal, Ian Jennings, aged 24, of Skahana, Union Hall, Co Cork, pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Adam Harris on Main St, Union Hall, on January 23, 2016.

Mr Harris testified that he and Mr Jennings were best friends for five or six years.

On the night of the disputed incident, they were at a darts match at The Boatman’s Inn in Union Hall.

Mr Harris stepped outside in the early hours and said there was no build-up to the alleged assault.

I went out for a cigarette. Before I knew it I got hit like a ton of bricks. I turned around and said: ‘Why the fuck did you hit me?’

Mr Jennings’s barrister, Sinéad Behan, said in her address to the jury at the end of the evidence that Mr Davis told the defendant’s mother and brother that night that he fell.

When publican Kieran Woods rang the next day to see if he was OK, Mr Woods asked him what happened and he replied that he could not remember.

Ms Behan said the complainant explained these responses by saying he did not want to put it out in public what Mr Jennings had done, but she said Mr Davis was putting it very much in public by claiming it to the gardaí and in court.

Mr Harris had been found to have a fractured cheekbone for which two titanium plates had to be inserted and he also suffered damage to lower side of his eye socket.

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