Pay €1,000 or receive a criminal conviction

Pay €1,000 by 2pm or receive a criminal conviction.

Pay €1,000 by 2pm or receive a criminal conviction.

That was the choice delivered by Judge John Coughlan last week to a Kildare man convicted of committing an assault outside a local nightclub.

Anthony Stynes, 15 Moatview, Kilmeade, Kildare, was charged with being intoxicated, using threatening behaviour, and obstructing a peace officer, at Top Square, Portlaoise; and assault in the vicinity of Coppers, Top Square, Portlaoise.

The offences occurred on December 21 last year.

Stynes appeared before the district court in May, where Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that an argument occurred between Stynes and door staff at Coppers, after Stynes was ejected from the nightclub. He struck another man across the face outside the club, causing the injured party to sustain bruising to his eye and nose which required €100 medical expenses.

Stynes had no previous convictions, and the matter was previously adjourned for a probation report after he paid €500 compensation.

At last week’s court, defence, Mr Declan Breen said that Stynes is on Social Welfare of €450, from which he supports his wife and three children.

“What was he doing outside a night club?” asked Judge Coughlan.

“That’s a very good question,” admitted Mr Breen, going on to explain that Stynes had been out with friends on the night.

Judge Coughlan said if Stynes paid €1,000 he would strike the matter out.

“Either that or he gets a conviction,” said the judge.

Defence requested some time, but Judge Coughlan ruled that the money had to be paid that day.

“The only reason I’ll strike it out is he has no previous convictions,” said the judge. “€1,000 - he has loads of friends.”

When the court reconvened after lunch, Stynes handed in the €1,000 and the charge was struck out against him. The money is to go to Laois Hospice.