A man who paid €30,000 compensation to a man whose nose he bit, has been given a two year suspended sentence at Mullingar Circuit Court for assault causing harm.
Oliver Macken of Allenstown, Kells, Co Meath admitted causing serious injury to the victim after a wedding in the Mullingar Park Hotel on September 12 2009.
The men had been talking at around 4am, said Garda Sean Corr, when a dispute arose, and Macken punched the other man to the head and bit his nose, which still today has a small scar.
Macken (45 ), who Stephen Byrne, BL said, had been leading a good and respectable life, is a single, self-employed, lorry driver.
Macken told the court he couldn’t get over how he had done it, was extremely sorry, and would never do something like that again.
“You’d better not, or there will be more serious consequences,” was Judge Tony Hunt’s response.
Character witnesses described how upstanding Macken was, and how he has never been in trouble.
Mr Byrne said his client knew he had brought shame on his brother and three sisters, and the offence, which was out of character, had been fuelled by drink.
Judge Hunt said Macken had lived a good life until words spoken on the night led him into the catastrophic situation.
A scar, even a small one can lead to a young man like the 24-year-old victim being seen as a troublemaker, rather than a victim, he said.
A head-butt and bite were no trivial matter, but they were an aberration and Macken had made significant amends.
While one can’t buy one’s way out of jail, Macken’s remorse had been made concrete in “very serious and large fashion”.
The offence deserved two years custody, he said, but suspended this for two years, saying prison is an expensive place of last resort.