Dunphy case jury fails to reach verdict

The jury in the trial of a man accused of making false allegations of indecent assault against broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has failed to reach an agreement after five hours of deliberations.

The jury in the trial of a man accused of making false allegations of indecent assault against broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has failed to reach an agreement after five hours of deliberations.

The jury of seven men and five women told Judge Elizabeth Dunne that there was no possibility of it reaching an agreement despite having been given a majority option of 11-1 an hour earlier.

David Heatly (aged 25), of Devenish Road, Kimmage, who was at the time a bouncer outside Cats night club on Leeson Street, had denied making a false report at Harcourt Terrace garda station on April 30, 2003 intending to show an offence had been committed.

He had told the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury that Mr Dunphy was "drunk, crude and lewd" on the night he allegedly groped and kissed him outside Buck Whaleys, a night club next door to Cats where Mr Heatly was working.

Mr Heatly told the jury that Mr Dunphy had first kissed him on the cheek, then attempted to kiss him on the lips and later slapped his face. He also claimed that Mr Dunphy grabbed him by the waist and groped his testicles.

Mr Heatly had denied in cross-examination by Mr Remy Farrell BL, prosecuting, that he "hotfooted up to the garda station" to complain of the alleged assault by Mr Dunphy because he was "seeing dollar signs".

He had also denied that in Mr Dunphy he saw a "wealthy, famous person who was three sheets to the wind" and took advantage of the situation.

Mr Dunphy denied all the allegations and told the jury that he was not an aggressive man "whether inside or outside". He also told the jury that he was not a heavy drinker of spirits or beer and had been drinking wine at a wine bar for a few hours before arriving on Leeson Street.

"I never had any contact with anybody of any type that could be remotely construed as contact," he said.

He agreed in cross-examination by Colm O’Briain BL, defending, that the version of events given by another witness, Mr Steven Newman, "could have" been true.

Mr Newman, who is the general manager of Buck Whaleys, told the jury that when Mr Dunphy arrived at the club around 1am that morning there was some light-hearted banter among him and the doormen of both Cats and his club.

During the banter Mr Dunphy had kissed Mr Heatly on the cheek. "It was a good humoured peck on the cheek," was how Mr Newman had described the incident. He also said that immediately after that Mr Heatly had said: "That’s assault, you all saw that."

Mr Newman said suggestions were made shortly afterwards that Mr Heatly stood to gain €15,000 if he made an accusation of indecent assault against Mr Dunphy. Mr Heatly asked the doormen if they would support such an allegation and offered a night out in Cats if they agreed to do so.

In his closing speech Mr Farrell told the jury that Mr Dunphy had been "a good witness - not a great witness" whereas Mr Heatly’s counsel, Mr O’Briain warned the jury that: "The articulate, amiable man you saw here yesterday was not the Eamon Dunphy who was on the street at two o’clock in the morning."

When the jury failed to reach a verdict after five hours of delibrations, Judge Dunne thanked it for its deliberations and put the case back in for mention on December 12, 2004.

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