Best friends on a night out drinking together ended up outside Voodoo Rooms in Cork city where one of them - who is a bodybuilder - landed the other man “a haymaker” punch in the mouth causing the loss of three of his teeth.
Now the events of that night that happened just before the beginning of the Covid pandemic have been replayed at Cork District Court.
The single punch assault was captured clearly on CCTV from over the door of the nightclub and when Judge Colm Roberts saw it, he remarked, “We have one person throwing a haymaker to the complainant.”
Simon Kelly solicitor said the brief section of CCTV shown in court suited the prosecution and he said that if more of it was shown it would be possible to see the defendant being goaded. More was shown, and the judge said it now showed the defendant opening his pants and making an insulting gesture towards the injured party.
After hearing the case at length, Judge Roberts convicted Svajunas Kilpys of Mary Street, Cork, on the charge of assault causing harm to Meirunas Radzvilla on Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, on February 1 2020. The two best friends from Lithuania worked together in Cork.
The victim said his dental bills to date were close to €5,000 and he had more treatment to undergo.
Sergeant Pat Murphy said after consulting with the victim after the conviction of Kilpys,
“The injured party accepts the person who was his friend did not think he would do so much damage with one punch but because of his strength and due to intoxication levels there was more damage. He accepts that his friend did not mean to do as much damage as he did.”
Simon Kelly said the defendant was taking the matter seriously. Judge Roberts responded, “No he is not. If he was, he would have come prepared. He said when gardaí interviewed him (over two years ago) he would pay and he did not. He hasn’t a penny to offer. This is a serious assault and I am sure your client wants to avoid a custodial sentence.”
Referring to the defendant’s assertion that the injured party had bullied him prior to the assault, Judge Roberts said,
“It is an abuse of the word, bully. The only person bullying was your client. What we saw was the act of a bully. Lots of people (gathered outside the nightclub and passing on the street) had their night ruined by this assault. People go out to relax and take their mind off their worries.”
The judge directed the accused to pay the injured party €7,500 compensation in court in five months’ time. He was told that if he paid it, he would get a fully suspended six-month sentence, and that if he did not pay the €7,500 by September he would get a jail term of six months with half of it suspended. The judge acknowledged the accused had no previous convictions.
While he contested the case, the defendant admitted the assault soon afterwards when questioned by Gardaí George Russell and Paraic O’Connor. Asked if he accepted responsibility, he replied, “Yes, I take responsibility. Shit happens.”
He said his friend goaded him to hit him so he hit his friend once. The defendant said the victim was his best friend.