A PORTLAOISE man has to pay compensation to avoid prison, having been convicted of an assault in which he pushed a woman to the ground after being refused service in a pub.
Stuart Austin, 127 Hillview Drive, Portlaoise, committed the offence at O’Shaughnessys Public House, The Square, Ballinakill, on August 1 last year.
Inspector Michael Walsh told the District Court that Austin arrived at the pub in the early hours of the morning and due to his condition, he was refused service. The inspector said Austin became obstreperous and had to be escorted out by the licensee and the licensee’s sister. As he was being escorted, he pushed the woman and she fell to the ground, suffering a graze to her knee.
Austin has nine previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had drank to excess on the day and he hadn’t meant to cause any harm. She said Austin has written a letter of apology to the injured party and is now attending AA meeting for his alcohol difficulties.
Judge William Early ordered him to pay €450 compensation to the injured party by November 1. If he does, and comes to no adverse garda attention in the interim, the judge said he would fine him €200, otherwise he could face a custodial sentence.