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Picture: Denis Minihane.
Picture: Denis Minihane.

Former Algerian wrestling champion pleads guilty to threatening behaviour in Cork city traffic row

A FORMER Algerian wrestling champion threatened another motorist who blew his horn at him in traffic in Cork city.

Farad Djaout, 38, with an address at an apartment in The Fastnet, Lancaster Gate, Cork, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and engaging in threatening behaviour.

Sergeant John Kelleher said at Cork District Court that on February 5, 2019 a motorist blew his horn on South Mall and later at Anglesea Street when he was stopped in traffic the defendant approached the window of his car and challenged him to a fight.

The motorist tried to drive away quickly from the scene in fright but collided with another car in front of him.

Judge Kelleher said it must have been a frightening experience for the motorist and he said that the defendant was a big man.

The judge said he could do 200 hours community service on the threatening charge.

He also imposed a five-month suspended sentence on him for assault.

Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, accepted that the defendant’s size would have been intimidating for the other motorist. He said the defendant was a former wrestling champion in Algeria.

“The defendant did speak to the other man who panicked, put his foot on the accelerator and crashed into another car,” Mr Cuddigan said.

The solicitor submitted in mitigation that Djaout had done an awful lot of voluntary work not least in donating equipment to a boxing club in Cork and giving something back to the community.

Mr Cuddigan said the defendant had been in the Algerian military but when he would not agree to carry out certain orders he was imprisoned and tortured.

The solicitor said that unfortunately the defendant sometimes reacted impulsively to issues now and was trying to improve.

Judge Kelleher said it was a serious matter for this man to threaten to assault the other motorist.

The judge said he could do 200 hours of community service for his threatening behaviour and a five-month suspended sentence would be imposed on the assault charge.

While the accused pleaded guilty to assault the evidence was that he put the other man in fear of being struck rather than physically striking him.