Limerick motorist ‘lost tooth’ after being punched by man in late night confrontation

David Hurley


David Hurley

The man was convicted at Limerick District Court of assaulting a motorist who confronted him

The man was convicted at Limerick District Court of assaulting a motorist who confronted him

A MAN has been convicted of assaulting a motorist who confronted him after debris was kicked at his car.

During a lengthy hearing, John Hayes, aged 24, of Thornfield, Monaleen, denied assaulting Tony Curtin (62) at Clare Street on December 3, 2016.

Mr Curtin, who had collected his teenage daughter from work at around 10.30pm, told Limerick District Court he pulled in near the Great Gas service station after he observed the defendant deliberately kicking something which struck the side of his car.

He said he got out of the vehicle and followed the defendant who reacted angrily and verbally abused him. Mr Curtin told Inspector Helen Costelloe that Mr Hayes used explicit language towards him when he suggested that gardai should be contacted.

The altercation then turned physical resulting in Mr Curtin losing a tooth after he was struck in the face. A member of the public intervened and gardai were alerted. Being cross-examined by solicitor Pamela Downes, Mr Curtin denied he was the aggressor on the night.

“He was disrespectful towards me as if I was some form of sub species,” he said, identifying Mr Hayes as the culprit.

In his evidence, the defendant said Mr Curtin was shouting abuse at him from his car and that he struck him in self-defence.

“I felt I had to defend myself, I was hit first, he had his fists up,” he said. 

During the hearing, Judge Marian O’Leary heard evidence from a number of civilian and garda witnesses. A medical report was also submitted as part of the prosecution case.

After ruling the State had proven its case, Judge O’Leary convicted Mr Hayes and adjourned the matter to next week for sentence.