Suspended term for assault on bus

A man who carried out a prolonged, violent attack on two people in a dispute over a seat on a bus has received a three-year suspended term.

Peter Harte, aged 26, launched the assaults on the man and woman after a disagreement on the bus. The attack lasted 10 minutes and involved head-butting, kicking. and punching.

Harte, of Kildonan Rd, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Pedro Mendez and Gabriella Leon at Old Kilmainham Rd, Dublin on July 24, 2014.

Harte’s 11 previous convictions are mainly for alcohol-related public order offences. He also has a conviction for robbery and an assault committed in May 2009.

Judge Desmond Hogan said Harte must carry out 240 hours voluntary work in the community as part of the suspended sentence and finish up participation with the Restorative Justice Programme. He also said Harte must also undergo drug, alcohol, and anger management programmes if deemed suitable and ordered that the €1,500 he had raised as a token of remorse be passed on to the victims.

Garda Caroline Kelly told the court the victims were getting the bus home. Harte got on the bus and came straight over to where they were sitting on the top deck.

There were other free seats on the bus. Mr Mendez asked Harte: “Man, do you really want to sit beside us, there are so many free?” Harte replied: “You don’t tell me where to sit, don’t fucking speak to me like that.” Harte commenced to attack the Portuguese and Mexican.

Garda Kelly said the two victims, who had been working here for a number of years, did not want to continue living here.


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