Costica Coker, aged 45, stepped out of his house at Orchard Court, Blackpool, Cork, to find Stewart Walsh, aged 25, with an address at Silversprings Lawn, Mayfield, across the road smoking a cigarette outside his relative’s house in Orchard Court.
There had been bad blood between the parties for a few years prior to this, Judge Olann Kelleher noted at the end of a 90-minute trial at Cork District Court yesterday. He convicted both men of assaulting the other and said that instead of serving five months in prison, they could do community service instead, 240 hours for Walsh and 200 for Coker, differentiated on the basis of the extent of their previous convictions.
Walsh testified that Coker appeared to be staring at him and he said Coker asked him if he had a staring problem.
“I just blew kisses back at him and laughed.”
Coker testified that Walsh and others were laughing at him as he was outside cutting grass.
Walsh and his partner, Ashling O’Riordan, later went out for something to eat at Lucky Luke’s nearby and on their return, they met Coker. There was a verbal altercation.
“He (Coker) put his hand up to her (Ms O’Riordan’s) face. I threw a punch. There was a bit of a scuffle. I ripped his T-shirt as I tried to get away from him. I ran away. He said to my girlfriend, ‘your boyfriend won’t walk through Orchard Court again’.
“I had an eyebrow bar and it busted and is still a bit sore. There was a scuffle — punches thrown from both of us,” Walsh said.
He said that he did ask Coker: “Why are you causing trouble with my family?” but he said that was not what started the verbal exchange before the fight.
Joseph Cuddigan, solicitor, cross-examined Ms O’Riordan, and said Coker was subjected to the height of abuse on the day on the street. She replied, “That is just ridiculous. If you only knew the half of it — harassment and everything else.”
Coker testified: “They say, ‘you are the rat’. I say, ‘No, you are the rat.’ I got a punch on the left side of my ears.
“I asked him, ‘Why you do that?’ He got something from his pocket. I don’t realise what happened. I feel blood and sharp pain around my face. He (Walsh) is still fighting. I have no chance. I have to fight back with a few punches.
“I was all over stabbed. He said, ‘Look at you bleeding like a pig’.”
Emmet Boyle, solicitor for Walsh, said to Coker, “You are making this up, it is fanciful.” Coker denied this was the case.
Convicting both accused of assault, Judge Kelleher said there was very bad blood between the parties and they had both been aggressive with each other on the afternoon of April 9, 2015.