Marketing executive who attacked competition judge spared jail

A top marketing executive, who attacked a judge at an awards ceremony at the Mansion House in Dublin, has been spared a criminal record and jail sentence after paying €20,000 to charity.

A top marketing executive, who attacked a judge at an awards ceremony at the Mansion House in Dublin, has been spared a criminal record and jail sentence after paying €20,000 to charity.

Gary Brown (aged 51) with an address at Howth Road, in Clontarf in Dublin, had been found guilty of assault causing harm to John O'Connor on May 7, 2009, at the An Post Direct Marketing Awards Night, in the Mansion House.

He had denied the charge and after being found guilty at Dublin District Court was told by Judge Ann Watkin last month that he would be spared a criminal record if he donated €20,000 to the St Vincent de Paul charity.

Today, Mr Brendan Grehan SC, defending, told Judge Watkin that a cheque was sent to the charity and Mr Brown was in court to confirm that the money had left his account.

Noting that it has been paid Judge Watkin applied the Probation Offenders' Act, which is not a recorded conviction and means he has not got a criminal record as a result of the incident.

Brown's company RMG Target had won the top prize at the event for the fourth consecutive year. In his victory speech he had said: “It's great to see new faces coming in” which were “making great videos that make us laugh every year.”

Afterwards Mr O'Connor and another judge Justin Cullen asked to speak with Brown.

They went to a corridor and Mr O'Connor and Mr Cullen criticised the speech but was told by the Brown to “f*** off”.

The court had heard that Mr O'Connor called Brown a knacker and he was then punched in the face by the accused. He fell and grabbed on to Brown and they went to the floor.

Witnesses had told the court that Brown punched Mr O'Connor five times, leaving him bleeding.

Brown had claimed that Mr O'Connor and Mr Cullen had been aggressive and he was embarrassed because some of his clients were present when they came to his table.

He had claimed Mr O'Connor had said that his conduct when he gave his speech was “loutish.” Brown admitted telling Mr O'Connor to f*** off but said the victim had called him a knacker and he feared he would be struck by him.

Earlier Mr Brendan Grehan SC, defending, had told the court that his client had made a €5,000 donation to Temple Street Hospital which had been nominated by Mr O'Connor.

His client wished to “apologise unreservedly” and testimonials detailing work he had done for charity had been submitted to the court.

Brown had admitted liability and paid €1,050 following a claim Mr O'Connor made through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

Judge Watkin had described the offence as extremely serious but noted that Brown had been a “upstanding member of the community”, had shown remorse and had no previous criminal convictions.

The judge had also said that the incident was not “totally unprovoked” and she believed Brown had been “approached in a rather aggressive manner” but that was not a justification for the assault.

She also noted that the case had consequences for Brown's standing in the business world.

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