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Suspended sentence for punching man in court house

A defendant who punched another court goer at the Criminal Courts of Justice has received a suspended sentence.

Jamie Griffin (26) punched another man once to the face in the entrance way to a District Court leaving him with a cut to his lip which was noticed by a nearby garda.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the injured party did not make a statement of complaint to gardai or a victim impact statement, but the incident was captured on security footage.

Griffin, of Iveagh Trust Building, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at District Court 4, Criminal Courts of Justice, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8, on November 10, 2017.

Griffin has 30 previous convictions, for offences including assault, affray, violent disorder, obstruction of a peace officer, as well as public order and road traffic offences.

Judge Melanie Greally noted his history of convictions and that he had over the course of 2015 and 2016 been involved engaging in such conduct as part of feuding or rival groups, but has since taken positive steps, is not abusing drugs and has brought some stability to his life.

She said he was a young man making efforts to rehabilitate and has not come to significant garda attention since 2017.

She took into account the guilty plea in a case which she noted would be difficult to prosecute. She said there was evidence he was maturing and trying to change his ways.

Judge Greally imposed a 12 month sentence which she suspended in full for 12 months.

Garda Maria Bagnell told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that she had heard a noise at the District Court and saw the injured party against the inner door of the atrium into the court room with blood on his face and a cut to his lip.

She asked him what had happened and he told her he did not know who had punched him. He appeared shaken but did not make a statement of complaint.

Gardai obtained CCTV showing Griffin punch the male once, knocking him to the floor.

Prior to the assault the two men had been in a group of males talking outside the court room.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said Griffin had stabilised his life and was moving in the right direction. He handed in letters from Griffin’s employer and a local boxing club.

 

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