Meat cleaver assault trial opens

The trial of a Chinese national accused of attacking an Irishman with a meat cleaver has opened at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The trial of a Chinese national accused of attacking an Irishman with a meat cleaver has opened at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Witnesses told the jury how "a Chinese man" needed two hands to "yank the cleaver" from the victim's head, such was the force of the blow and that after the attack there was blood "pouring from his head".

Haidong Zhao (aged 31), of North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1 has pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Paul Fitzsimons and to possession of a meat cleaver with the intention of causing injury at Capel Street, Dublin on April 9, 2007.

Prosecuting council Ms Cathleen Noctor BL said in her opening statement that the jury would hear evidence that Haidong Zhao struck the victim twice across the head with the cleaver. She said that they would hear he had done so in response to an earlier attack on himself and a friend by two Irishmen.

Witnesses to the incident told the court that they saw two Irishmen beating up a Chinese man inside a doorway as they left a bar on Capel Street at 2.30 am that morning.

They said that, as the Irishmen ran from the building, they were followed by "another Chinese man."

This man repeatedly struck the victim, who had been standing outside, on the head with a cleaver. Onlookers threw bottles and shouted in an attempt to stop the attack.

One witness recalled how the Chinese man had gone inside the building after the attack but that a number of people had tried "to get him back out" for what he had done.

In cross-examination by Mr Damien Colgan BL, defending, all four witnesses denied knowing the victim personally before that night's events.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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