A stag do in Galway came to a nasty end when the best man assaulted the future groom in their hostel room, causing him serious injuries.
Frank Grace (31) attacked his friend for no good reason on the second night of the stag do in 2018, splitting his jaw open with an uppercut.
Grace, formerly from Tallaght but now living in the UK, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Galway Circuit Court on June 26 last year.
At a sentencing hearing this week, Gardaí gave evidence of what happened, and a victim impact statement was read into the court showing the serious affect this has had on the injured man’s life.
Detective Garda Paul Duffy told the court that the injured party in this case has come to Galway for a stag party with his friends in January of 2018.
On the 2nd night of the stag party the group had split up during the course of the night, and the victim returned to their hostel with a friend after a time.
In the early hours of January 28, Grace also returned to the hostel with a bottle of vodka, already very drunk.
The injured man and defendant engaged in some “horseplay” when Grace “very suddenly became extremely aggressive and angry”, and attacked his friend, delivering a single uppercut to the head.
In a victim impact statement which was read into court, the injured man said that Grace started becoming more aggressive when he arrived back at the hostel drunk, and continued drinking afterwards.
“His behaviour got worse, he started to break things in our room,” the victim said, saying that he engaged in a bit of roughhousing to try and distract Grace.
After Grace punched him the first time he could “taste blood” and had to dodge another punch aimed at his face. When he asked Grace why he’d attacked him, “He said he wanted to ruin my face and break all my teeth before my wedding.”
When the rest of the group arrived back at the room later, Grace immediately tried to attack him again, and had to be dragged away the injured party said.
On his return from Galway, the injured man needed surgery for a fracture on the right side of his jaw, which still causes him ongoing medical issues.
He initially though that he had lost a tooth, but this was a result of the serious fracture. “My jaw was split open, the gap I could feel was the break, he explained.
This caused him serious difficulties with missing work and having to delay his wedding by several months, as well as making it harder for him to trust people.
“If I can’t trust my friend, who was supposed to be my best man, who can I trust.”
Barrister for the defence Conal McCarthy said that it has been almost three years since this incident, and there has been no evidence that Grace has been involved in criminal activity since.
Mr McCarthy added that his client made full admissions when interviewed by Gardaí, and was in shock that he had done this, saying that the incident was fuelled by alcohol.
A letter of apology and €5,000 in compensation was also presented to the court, which was handed over to Gardaí to be paid to the victim.
However, Mr McCarthy said that there had been some difficulty in obtaining a probation report as his client is living outside of Ireland.
Judge McCabe said that this should be something that could easily with the documentation available, and by making contact remotely. He remarked “The phones work, I believe.”
The case was adjourned to February 17 to see if a report is available. Grace was excused from attending the court on that date.