Student attacked man who asked his ex-girlfriend for a lighter outside nightclub

Judge has told the student he was “close to a custodial sentence”
Student attacked man who asked his ex-girlfriend for a lighter outside nightclub

Tom Tuite

A judge has told a student he was “close to a custodial sentence” after he left a man with almost €11,000 worth of dental bills from a drunken single punch attack in Dublin.

Dublin District Court heard that Sean Mulhall, 21, lashed out when the victim asked his ex-girlfriend for a lighter.

Final year economics student, Mulhall, of Bramblefield Park, Clonee, Dublin 25, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm during the incident at just after midnight, on July 24th, 2018 outside a nightclub on Harcourt Street. Gardaí observed the incident in progress on CCTV.

Both men were intoxicated, but the victim told gardaí he had been attacked by the accused. Mulhall was co-operative and later met gardaí by appointment, Judge Michael Walsh heard.

His victim did not have to give evidence because a guilty plea was entered. He provided an impact statement which was handed in to court. It stated the fight started after he asked for a lighter.

Judge Walsh noted the prosecution summary stated the victim had a fractured eye socket as well as heavy bruising. However, in the impact statement the man said he had €10,800 in dental costs and he lost two weeks’ income.

He had damaged front teeth, had to wear a brace and had abrasions to his lip, but there was no reference to his eye socket, Judge Walsh noted.


Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said there was no argument that it was just one punch.

Judge Walsh noted the victim had been spared having to come to give evidence.

Mulhall had no previous convictions and was of previous good character and had expressed remorse. He also wished to compensate his victim and brought €2,500 to court.

Mr Hanahoe said his client's finances were strained. He was a final-year student and worked part-time.

He had received a job offer for a post next year, following graduation, and would also need to be able to travel, the solicitor said. Judge Walsh said the accused was very close to a custodial sentence.

He adjourned the case for six months for Mulhall to have a further €7,500 in compensation.

The defence will address the court further in a mitigation plea when the case resumes.

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