Assault charge dismissed after witness tells court he saw clamper 'go at man with bar'


A man was cleared of assaulting a clamper after a court heard from witnesses that the clamper had "gone at him" with a bar.

Mr Francis Donnelly (45), originally from Northern Ireland, with an address at Capel Street, Dublin, denied assaulting Mr David Dowling on November 1st last.

Dublin District Court heard that Mr Dowling and a colleague had clamped five cars on Capel Street at about 8 a.m. when a box of nails fell or was thrown from a window. Mr Dowling said he heard someone calling: "What are you doing round here at this hour of the morning, you wouldn't do this up in Derry or the North."

Mr Donnelly came out of the the building with another man as Mr Dowling was clamping the last car. Mr Dowling said the other man punched him in the face while Mr Donnelly kicked him. The gardaí were called and Mr Donnelly was arrested.

Mr Donnelly said Mr Dowling produced a "u-bar", part of the clamping apparatus, and hit him during the struggle.

Mr Joe Hennessy, a passing motorist, said: "Two men came on to the street and I saw the clamper go to the van and then go at them with the bar or whatever it was."

Mr John Donnelly, no relation to Mr Francis Donnelly, said he also saw Mr Dowling "waving some kind of a bar about".

Judge Peter Smithwick said while he was "rather suspicious" of the evidence, he had no reason to disbelieve the independent witnesses. He dismissed the charge.