Dunphy denies indecent assault on night club bouncer

Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has denied that he indecently assaulted a man outside Cats Night Club on Leeson Street last year and that he slapped the man after kissing him on the cheek.

Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has denied that he indecently assaulted a man outside Cats Night Club on Leeson Street last year and that he slapped the man after kissing him on the cheek.

Mr Dunphy is the central witness in the trial of David Heatly ( 25 ), of Devenish Road, Kimmage who alleges that Mr Dunphy kissed him and groped his testicles.

Mr Heatly is charged with making a false report at Harcourt Terrace garda station on April 30, 2003 intending to show an offence had been committed. He claims in the said statement that Mr Dunphy made lewd gestures at him, called him "a wanker" and offered to give him "a blow job."

"I am not an aggressive person when I am inside or outside. I am not in the habit of kissing bouncers," Mr Dunphy told the jury of seven men and five women on day-1 of the trial.

He told prosecuting counsel, Mr Remy Farrell BL, that he cannot fully recall the events of the night in which he had earlier been drinking at Ely, a wine bar at Ely Place, and had taken a taxi to Leeson Street.

He admitted he had "a few drinks" on him, having been at a bar called Joys before going to Ely. He said he had about seven glasses of wine and a glass of champagne before taking a taxi to Leeson Street. He was carrying the champagne glass with him when he arrived.

"I am not a really big drinker of anything. That’s a fact," Mr Dunphy said. He said he did not drink spirits or beer and that when he left Ely place he had been "torn between going home and kicking on." In the end, he said, he decided "to kick on."

When he arrived on Leeson Street he was not "incoherent drunk" or falling about the place. He knew where he was, what he was doing, and that he had "nothing untoward" had happened to him that night. Nor had he been involved in such an event.

He agreed in cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Colm O’Briain BL, that he did not recall the night’s events in detail. He said he did not remember kissing anybody or slapping anyone. "I think I am a truthful person," Mr Dunphy said.

He added that he would not lie about something even if it would be to his advantage to do so. He was simply was not in a position to recall the night’s events in detail. "I wouldn’t recognise Mr Heatly from the man in the moon. I genuinely can’t recall doing that," to Mr Heatly he said.

Earlier the jury had heard from the General Manager of Cats, Mr Steven Newman, who was standing outside the door when Mr Dunphy first appeared in the area.

Mr Newman said he and the doorman at a club called Buck Whaleys engaged in some light hearted banter with Mr Dunphy about the last occasion he had been there which had been during the last football World Cup. Mr Dunphy had failed to appear for work next day at RTÉ.

As they were talking two doormen from Cats, the club next door, came and joined them. One of them was Mr Heatly. During the ensuing conversation Mr Dunphy asked for a cigarette and Mr Heatly replied: "You’d think with all your millions you could afford your own."

Mr Newman noticed a change in the atmosphere after that comment and Mr Heatly appeared rather aggressive. The banter then moved on to Mr Dunphy asking whether Buck Whaleys was good that night and Mr Newman said he told Mr Dunphy there were three ladies inside.

"You are more interested in little boys," one of the doormen had remarked then. Mr Newman said he did not know who exactly made the remark. Mr Dunphy replied that he would "chance his arm with the ladies" and that if he had no luck "Dave might get his chance".

Mr Newman told the jury that it was all light hearted joking between the men and that Mr Dunphy had gone down the stairs that led to the entrance of the club shortly after the remark. The women came out about two minutes after he went in, and Mr Dunphy too returned.

When Mr Dunphy was back in their company one of the doormen remarked about Mr Heatly getting his chance then. Mr Dunphy then kissed Mr Heatly on the cheek. "It was a good humoured peck on the cheek," Mr Newman told the jury.

He said after Mr Dunphy kissed him, a remark was made that he had probably left lipstick on the bouncer’s face. Mr Dunphy, still in a light hearted mood, then put his hand to Mr Heatly’s cheek where he had kissed him and wiped it.

Mr Heatly brushed his hand away and said, "That’s assault, you all saw it." Mr Dunphy did not respond to the remark and soon afterwards left in the direction which he had come from. Mr Newman agreed with Mr Farrell that Mr Heatly had been embarrassed by the kiss on the cheek.

As Mr Dunphy left, Mr Heatly said he was going to make a complaint to gardaí about assault and walked back to the door of Cats from where he made a phone call. He then got into his car and disappeared for about an hour or so.

When Mr Heatly returned he approached Mr Newman and told him that he had made a complaint to gardaí and said: "It’s in the bag." He said if a claim of indecent assault against Mr Dunphy was made he would "settle out of court" and he stood to make €15,000 out of it.

He also suggested to the doormen and Mr Newman that if they supported his version of events he would treat them to a night at Cats and they stood to get financially too. He said Mr Heatly asked him later if he had made a statement to gardaí and he had replied: "No, I cannot lie for you."

When he made the reply Mr Heatly turned his back on Mr Newman and they have not spoken to each other since. Mr Newman said Mr Heatly also approached the other doormen in a similar manner.

Garda Paul Kane told Mr Farrell that Mr Heatly made a statement that morning saying he saw Mr Dunphy approach Cats around 1.10 am "coming from Angels lap dancing club." Mr Heatly said Mr Dunphy had a glass of wine in his hand and was refused entry.

Mr Dunphy then called him "a wanker" and started making hand gestures to appear as if he was masturbating. "I will give you a blowjob," Mr Dunphy then said to Mr Heatly and kissed him on the cheek.

Mr Heatly also alleged in his statement that at this stage Mr Dunphy tried to kiss him on the lips before slapping him on the face. He said he then asked Mr Dunphy: "Do you know that’s assault?". At this question, Mr Heatly said, "I could see him realise that it was assault."

Mr Heatly said Mr Dunphy then went into Buck Whaleys and came out shortly afterwards. He then asked if a nearby night club, Strings, was a lap dancing club. He told Mr Heatly that when he was finished at Strings, he would "come back over and give me a blow job."

At this stage he then tried to kiss Mr Heatly again and grabbed him by the testicles. Garda Kane said Mr Heatly concluded his statement saying that Mr Dunphy then walked back towards Angels and got into a silver BMW in which he drove away.

The case continues before Judge Elizabeth Dunne.

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