Community service for unprovoked assault on night out

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin Circuit criminal court

By Sonya McClean and Eimear Dodd

A man who punched a co-worker in an “unprovoked assault” on a night out has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service in lieu of a prison sentence. 

Emanuel Adrian Marcu (29) of South Circular Road, Rialto, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of assault causing harm at Temple Bar on January 29, 2019. He was assisted in following proceedings in court by a Romanian interpreter.

Imposing sentence, Judge Martina Baxter said it is an aggravating factor in this case that it was an “unprovoked assault” on an “innocent person”.

The court heard the injured party was on a work night out on the night in question. Between 2 am and 2.30 am, they went to get pizza in the Temple Bar area. The victim was then punched twice in the face by a man, later identified as Marcu.

The injured party was taken to hospital, where he spent several days. He sustained a broken jaw and required surgery. A victim impact statement was handed into the court.

The victim later received an apologetic text from Marcu. In the message, Marcu said he couldn’t remember what had happened but claimed that someone had pushed him, and he had confused the injured party with this person. Both men worked for the same company but didn’t know each other. 

Marcu later went to the garda station voluntarily and acknowledged his role, though he said another person had hit him.    

Defence counsel told the court that his client was intoxicated on the night in question, as were others. His client had been working in hospitality but lost his job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Marcu is Romanian and has a young child who lives in Romania with their mother. The defendant has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since this incident.

Judge Baxter noted that this incident had serious effects on the injured party, who did not feel as safe in his work, required surgery and suffered some financial loss. 

She said Marcu had incriminated himself and offered an immediate apology to the injured party. She noted Marcu had brought €2,000 to court, which the victim was willing to accept.

Judge Baxter said that while Marcu could not remember the full details of that night, he accepted the injured party was an “innocent person”.

She noted the mitigation includes Marcu’s guilty plea, which meant the injured party was “not re-traumatised” by having to come to court to give evidence. Judge Baxter also noted Marcu’s lack of previous convictions and his apology.

Judge Baxter said the Probation Service had deemed Marcu to be suitable for community service and imposed 240 hours of community service in lieu of a two-year prison sentence.

                          

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