Restaurateur used chair to fend off attacker

A restaurateur who was chased around his premises in Cork by a man armed with a broken bottle had to pick up a chair and part of a vacuum cleaner to fend off the attacker, who was jailed yesterday.

Judge Gerard O’Brien said Nabil Cherif and his wife were left emotionally shattered by the experience.

Paul McCarthy, aged 39, of no fixed address, was convicted by the jury on three charges in relation to the crime. He was yesterday jailed for six years with the last 18 months suspended.

The judge accepted that McCarthy had a difficult life but said his 129 previous convictions covered a broad range of crimes.

McCarthy was convicted of making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to Mr Cherif at N Square, Camden Quay, Cork City, on December 6, 2014, causing criminal damage, and production of a broken bottle during the incident.

Garda Joseph Maher said he arrested McCarthy that night. He admitted being at the restaurant but denied doing anything wrong.

Garda Maher said McCarthy was very intoxicated and agitated.

Mr Cherif said there were about 25 customers in N Square when a woman, who was intoxicated, walked in. She was gently ushered out. Mr Cherif said a big man who sat down, swiping glasses and everything else on the floor, got up and became involved. He said to leave the woman alone.

The pair had brought a box of beer and spirits bottles, some of which fell and broke. Mr Cherif told the jury the man picked up the neck of a broken bottle with a spike of glass sticking out of it and punched it towards him, narrowly avoiding his face. Mr Cherif managed to fend him off with a chair.

McCarthy chased him to the kitchen where Mr Cherif had to use part of the vacuum cleaner to defend himself. McCarthy threw the bottle at Mr Cherif and it smashed on the wall.

The drunken man shouted at Mr Cherif during the incident: “You effing foreigner, go back to your country. You are a dead man.”

Mr Cherif’s wife, Bernie Cherif Foley, said: “We don’t look for trouble, it was just a horrific thing that should not have happened. Our restaurant was turned upside down.”

Ray Boland, defending, put it to Det Garda Caroline Keogh that McCarthy was pleasant when sober. She replied that she had never met the 39-year-old sober.


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