A West Cork man who denied fracturing his best friend’s cheekbone with a punch to the face on a night out in Union Hall sent a text saying: “Hey lad, sorry about last night. I don’t know what happened. I’ll pay your hospital bill. Sorry.”
That was the evidence yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal in the trial of Ian Jennings, 24, of Skahana, Union Hall, Co Cork, who denied assault causing harm to Adam Harris on Main St, Union Hall, on January 23, 2016.
Adam Harris testified that he and Jennings were best friends for five or six years and had gone on holidays together a few times.
On the night of the disputed incident, they were attending a darts match at The Boatman’s Inn in Union Hall.
Mr Harris stepped outside in the early hours of the morning 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 f*** did you hit me?’”
Later, Ian Jennings’s mother was driving her son home and agreed to bring Adam home to Castletownshend. When she saw him she said: “In the name of God, what happened you?” He said he fell.
Sinéad Behan, defence barrister, asked him why he did not say he was assaulted if that was what happened.
He said he did not want to be telling his friend’s mother that her son was the one who assaulted him.
He said he just wanted to get a spin home at that point.
Mr Harris said he had about 12 drinks. Ms Behan suggested he had about 15 drinks and the defendant had paid for most of them.
Mr Harris said they bought their own drinks and bought each other one or two but that Jennings did not pay for most of the drinks.
In hospital, he was 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.
He said there was no build-up to the alleged assault.
He said Jennings texted him the next day saying sorry and that he would pay the hospital bill.
Ms Behan said: “In relation to the text he felt responsible because he got you drunk and you fell. He was concerned for you.” Mr Harris disagreed and said that was not correct.
The case continues today before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and a jury of eight men and four women.
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