Soccer international faces trial over attack on coach

A soccer coach suffered a triple fractured jaw and feared for his life after he was confronted by a group including Republic of Ireland football star Jeff Hendrick, a court has heard.

Soccer international faces trial over attack on coach

Darren McDermott alleged he was dragged from a taxi by Hendrick who was “out of it” and was later chased and beaten.

Hendrick, aged 24, originally from Kilmore in north Dublin but now based in England where he plays for Derby County, is accused of violent disorder at Harcourt St in Dublin on October 12, 2013. The charge involves an allegation of the use of, or the threat of violence, which could cause a person to fear for their safety.

His co-accused Jonathan Doran, aged 24, of Kilmore Crescent, Artane, Dublin, is also charged with violent disorder at nearby Montague St but also has an additional charge for assault causing harm to Darren McDermott in connection with the same incident.

Both men have pleaded not guilty and their trial began at Dublin District Court yesterday. However, after hearing evidence from Darren McDermott who sustained injuries in the alleged incident, Judge John Cheatle refused jurisdiction, meaning the case must go forward to the circuit court.

In evidence, Mr McDermott, a soccer coach from Kilmore west in Dublin but living in Clarehall, told the court he had gone out with a few friends. They watched an Ireland-Germany match and later went to the Krystle nightclub on Harcourt St.

There he met Mr Hendrick’s group. He knew Hendrick as a footballer and also knew members of his family.

He said they were chatting and had photos taken on their phones. He said when his friend went to the bar Mr Hendrick “just turned, his whole demeanour changed, he was not happy with me being in their company”.

He said the footballer became quite aggressive.

Mr McDermott said his friends were holding him back. He claimed security grabbed Mr Hendrick and put him out of the premises. He said he never had any issue with him before.

He about 20 minutes later he decided to go. He said Mr Hendrick was in a group outside the entrance. He claimed Jeff Hendrick “went to have a go again, again I tried to calm him down, at that stage he was quite aggressive”.

Mr McDermott’s friend held off the group while he ran to a taxi which he claimed pulled off but was blocked by Mr Hendrick and his friends.

He said he activated the door locks and was appealing to the driver to just keep going. He claimed he offered the driver €100 to keep going and told him he feared he was going to get “a hiding”. However, the driver unlocked the car, he said, and he alleged the footballer then pulled him out of the car.

He said he decided to run.

He did not know how he hit the ground but the next thing he could remember was “straight away people laid into me”. He told the court he was kicked to his head and ribs and he held his hands over his head to protect himself.

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