An apology led to an assault with a vehicle

An apology led to an assault with a vehicle

By Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Dublin man who hit a fellow soccer coaching student with his car has received a two-year suspended sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that injured party Andrew Cummins had punched Otis Reynolds (21) in a fight 15 months before the car incident.

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Garda John Griffin said Mr Cummins was walking along the road when he saw Reynolds’ Ford Focus.

He spoke with Reynolds through the driver’s window to apologise for the earlier punch. Garda Griffin said Mr Cummins left thinking Reynolds had acknowledged his apology, but next heard tires screeching, before being hit by the car.

Mr Cummins was thrown in the air and landed heavily on his right side.

Reynolds, of Windmill Park, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Cummins causing him harm at Raphoe Road, Crumlin on March 9, 2017.

He has 16 previous convictions for thefts, drugs offences and traffic matters. The court heard he was on bail for another charge at the time of this incident.

Judge Martina Baxter suspended the prison term on condition he keep the peace for two years.

She also ordered him to complete 200 hours of work in the community over that period.

Garda Griffin told Eoin Lawlor BL, prosecuting, that the two men knew each other from a soccer coaching course at Pearse College in Dublin.

He said Mr Cummins noted that Reynolds had “grunted and slightly nodded” but didn’t respond to his apology through the car window.

Garda Griffin said he was called to the scene following the collision and came across the injured party looking “nervous and frail”.

Mr Cummins said in his statement that he had felt his left leg dead and numb, his right side and lower back sore and his left hand swollen after the impact.

Garda Griffin said he arrested Reynolds a week later at a checkpoint, after downloading CCTV from the area.

Reynolds claimed in interview that he “panicked” and didn’t mean to hit Mr Cummins.

He said they both became aggressive during the conversation at the car window. He further claimed that Mr Cummins went to hit him before he accelerated off in his vehicle.

Garda Griffin told Mr Lawlor that the injured party had declined to submit a victim impact statement.

The garda agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that later on in his interview, Reynolds did not claim the injured party was coming to hit him. Garda Griffin further agreed that the guilty pleas were helpful in the case.

He accepted Reynolds had raised €1,000 from his wages for Mr Cummins as a concrete expression of remorse.

Mr Le Vert submitted to Judge Martina Baxter that his client had a difficult upbringing but now helped his mother at home.

Counsel said his client was now in his first year of a plumbing apprenticeship, that he had no drink or drugs issues, but was on medication for anxiety.

Mr Le Vert further submitted that Reynolds had built a log cabin in his back garden, which was an impressive accomplishment.

He asked Judge Baxter to keep in mind his client’s young age, his admissions and his expression of remorse.

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