Cork man avoids conviction for splashing neighbour with water

Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said the 47-year-old man had no previous conviction of any kind and he said that as an act of recklessness being prosecuted as an assault it was at the lowest possible level for such an offence
Cork man avoids conviction for splashing neighbour with water

Judge Gabbett gave the defendant the benefit of a dismissal under the Probation of Offenders Act at Cork District Court, adding, “There is no conviction recorded against him.”

A splash of water on a neighbour from a garden hose resulted in the man with the hose being prosecuted for assault.

Paul Coffey of 66 Summerstown Road, Wilton, Cork, was charged with assault at Cork District Court.

Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said the 47-year-old man had no previous conviction of any kind and he said that as an act of recklessness being prosecuted as an assault it was at the lowest possible level for such an offence.

“It is splashing a neighbour being treated as an assault.

“The neighbour felt a splash of water on his head. Then he felt a second splash. And he saw him (Paul Coffey) holding a garden hose at his hedge.

“He (Paul Coffey) may have hit him with some water. If he did so it was accidental.

“Somehow, while my client was hosing his hedge this happened and it was an act of recklessness – probably not deliberate.

“He acknowledged there was some animus between the parties previously.

“It was a few droplets of water or spray. It is the lowest end (of the category of assault cases) that I have come across,” Mr Buttimer said.

But he acknowledged, “It depends on the type of animus.” 

Judge Alec Gabbett added, “Or the type of hose.” Mr Buttimer clarified, “It was not a power-hose.” 

Mr Buttimer said that apart from the complaint made by the neighbour it was not followed up with a victim impact statement.

Mr Buttimer submitted that if this type of evidence was deemed as constituting assault it might encourage other complainants at this low level of alleged assault.

Judge Gabbett gave the defendant the benefit of a dismissal under the Probation of Offenders Act at Cork District Court, adding, “There is no conviction recorded against him.”

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