A talented golfer who got extremely drunk at a wedding reception ended up striking another patron across the face with a glass bottle causing him a serious injury.
The assailant who was never in trouble before, has paid €7,000 compensation to the victim and now Gavin Carroll of Amberley Court, Douglas, Cork, has been given a three-year suspended jail term by Judge Helen Boyle at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Garda Chris Daly said the offences were committed by 28-year-old Gavin Carroll on August 17 2019 when the defendant and the injured parties were attending a wedding reception at Oriel House Hotel.
Shortly before 1am there was a brief exchange of words and an altercation in the function room.
Garda Daly said Gavin Carroll appeared to walk away but he picked up the glass bottle from a table.
“Gavin Carroll struck him across the face causing a significant laceration between his eye and ear,” Garda Daly said.
A young woman present in the area was cut on the arm when a shard of broken glass struck her, Garda Daly said. This gave rise to a second assault charge.
Garda Daly said that as well as striking the man with the glass, “Gavin Carroll also picked up a chair and struck him with the chair.”
The incident was broken up by other patrons at the wedding.
The defendant was later arrested on a charge of being drunk and a source of danger contrary to the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act but ultimately he was charged with assault causing harm to the man and the woman at the wedding.
When arrested on the drunkenness charge a small quantity of cocaine was found in his pocket, Garda Daly said.
The man struck across the face with the glass sustained nerve damage to the face and the injury has affected his confidence in terms of going out in public.
The 28-year-old man who was injured said the severed nerves on his forehead had resulted in muscle deterioration and a drooping of the side of his face.
He said in his victim impact statement that he now finds himself paranoid and stressed.
“I lost my job over the incident,” the victim said, adding that he was reminded of what happened to him more than two years ago, every time he looked in the mirror.
Sinéad Behan, defence barrister, said: “This was a wedding. There was an incredible amount of drink served throughout the day. Mr Carroll was highly intoxicated. He accepts it was him on the CCTV (of the incident).
“A five-year relationship had broken up and he took it badly. He started taking cocaine. There was acute intoxication – it is not that this man was just drunk, he was extremely intoxicated, he could hardly walk, there was nothing premeditated about it.
“These were acquaintances at a wedding. For some reason a dispute kicked off. There was an impulsive reaction by Mr Carroll. If he could turn back the clock he would. He has taken strident steps to address his difficulties.
“He has raised €7,000 compensation which is a very generous amount, given his circumstances.
“He was an extremely talented golfer when he was a teenager with handicap of 4. And he is back coaching young golfers now.”