A YOUNG man who headbutted a former schoolmate in a County Limerick nightclub avoided a criminal conviction after he paid €2,500 compensation.
Last August, Conor Buckley, aged 20, of Carraward East, Dromcollogher was sentenced to four months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm.
During an appeal, which was heard at Newcastle West Circuit Court, state solicitor Aidan Judge said the incident happened at Club Mission, Newcastle West in the early hours of June 4, 2012.
He told the court the injured party sustained a broken nose after he was headbutted in the smoking area of the nightclub “suddenly and without provocation”.
Mr Judge said both parties were “well known to each other” as they had attended Hazlewood College in Dromcollogher.
He added that there had been “considerable animosity” between the pair for a number of years before the incident.
Barrister Emmett O’Brien said his client was deeply apologetic for his actions, which he said, were out of character.
He said his client had “hit him first” as he believed he was going to be struck by the injured party.
Judge Gerald Keys was told Buckley, who works as an apprentice toolmaker in Cork, has no previous convictions and that he comes from a respected family.
A number of written testimonials from well-known members of the community in Dromcollogher were submitted to the court in support of Buckley.
Judge Keys commented they were “glowing references” and he noted that €2,500 had been raised by the defendant as compensation since last August.
The judge said he didn’t want Buckley’s future to be governed by a “momentary act of folly” but he stressed he didn’t want the message to go out that “one can buy their way out of a conviction”.
Given the circumstances of the case and Buckley’s “unblemished record” he applied the Probation Act.