‘Bully­boy’ bouncer will pay €5,000 to cus­tomer he threw on ground

Bray People - - Baptism Special -

A GREY­STONES bouncer who picked up a man and threw him to the ground af­ter re­fus­ing him en­try into a Bray night club had his case ad­journed un­til July to al­low him pay com­pen­sa­tion of €5,000.

An­drew Flynn who hails from Grey­stones but whose ad­dress was given as C/O Koo Night­club, Strand Road, Bray re­ceived a three month sus­pended prison sen­tence in the district court af­ter he was con­victed of as­sault­ing Larry Betts out­side the Koo night­club on July 27, 2005.

Mr. Betts said he had a few drinks in the Martello Bar on the night and then went to go to the Koo Night­club which to meet friends. Flynn was work­ing as a bouncer on the night and said he couldn’t go into the club. When Mr. Betts asked him why he couldn’t go in Flynn told him he didn’t have to give a rea­son.

Mr. Betts then waited out­side the club to see if he could see his friends be­cause he didn’t know if they had ar­rived yet. Flynn came over to him and told him he would have to leave or he would call the gar­dai. Mr. Betts told Flynn he wasn’t in the way and Flynn replied ‘you are leav­ing here now or I will drag you out’.

Flynn, Mr. Betts said, picked him up and threw him on the ground putting his knee on Mr. Betts’ chest and his hand on his wind­pipe say­ing ‘ are you go­ing to leave here, are you go­ing to leave here?’

He said he was then caught from be­hind and dragged out of the pub. Mr. Betts who is now 45 said he was very trau­ma­tised by the as­sault. When he rang the gar­dai to make a com­plaint he was told they had al­ready re­ceived two calls about the in­ci­dent.

Mr. Betts said his back was ‘se­verely grazed’ fol­low­ing the as­sault. He de­nied be­ing ‘un­rea­son­able’ on the night.

Wit­ness Noel O’Reilly said he didn’t know Mr. Betts on the night and had been drink­ing in the Martello bar when he heard a com­mo­tion out­side the Koo. He had a good line of vi­sion to the club and saw Mr. Betts be­ing thrown to the ground and Flynn kneel­ing on his chest. He said two men dragged Mr. Betts ‘in a very in­hu­man way’ onto the path out­side the Martello and at this stage Mr. O’Reilly rang the gar­dai. He said he didn’t see Mr. Betts do any­thing to war­rant this treat­ment.

Garda Dar­ren McLough­lin said he had spo­ken to Mr. Betts on the night and while he had drink taken he wasn’t in­tox­i­cated and was able to have a nor­mal con­ver­sa­tion. He said he had been as­sault- ed by Flynn and there was a large graze on his back con­sis­tent with be­ing dragged on tar­mac. The fol­low­ing day Garda McLough­lin spoke to Flynn about the in­ci­dent and Flynn said he would make a state­ment but he never did.

Un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion Garda McLough­lin said that Flynn had told him that the CCTV sys­tem didn’t cover the area where the as­sault occurred and there was no footage of the in­ci­dent.

In his own ev­i­dence Flynn said on the night in ques­tion Mr. Betts had been in­tox­i­cated and was re­fused en­try. He said Mr. Betts was ob­struct­ing the en­trance and he ‘gen­tly moved him to one side’. Mr. Betts, he said, fell to the ground and wouldn’t get up. Gareth Brady, the man­ager of the club, said Mr. Betts had to be moved as he was ob­struct­ing the en­trance and he and an­other bouncer, Keith Grif­fin, picked him up and started to carry him but Mr. Betts kicked out at Mr. Grif­fin and fell. He was picked back up and car­ried off the premises.

Un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion from state so­lic­i­tor Rory Benville, Flynn said he had never been in­formed there had been any al­le­ga­tion made against him and de­nied be­ing asked about CCTV footage.

Keith Grif­fin who was work­ing on the night with Flynn said the area would have been cov­ered by the CCTV sys­tem. The court heard Mr. Brady was not in court to give ev­i­dence.

‘This was noth­ing less than an un­pro­voked as­sault by a bully­boy who came into court mak­ing out that Garda McLough­lin and Mr. O’Reilly were not telling the truth. It de­fies be­lief,’ said Judge Grif­fin.

He said he was sat­is­fied that ‘Mr. Betts was thrown to the ground and dragged on to the street and dumped there’.

The court heard Flynn had no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions and the in­ci­dent had been ‘wholly out of char­ac­ter. Fol­low­ing a dis­cus­sion with Flynn his coun­sel said Flynn could pay €5,000 com­pen­sa­tion to Mr. Betts within six months which Mr. Betts was happy with if cou­pled with an apol­ogy.

On Flynn’s be­half he ‘un­re­servedly apol­o­gised for any in­con­ve­nience, loss or pain Mr. Betts suf­fered from the in­ci­dent’.

Af­firm­ing the District Xourt or­der of a three-month sus­pended prison sen­tence Judge Grif­fin ad­journed the case un­til July 7 to al­low him gather €5,000 com­pen­sa­tion plus wit­ness ex­penses of € 400.

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