Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Man accused of slashing best friend's throat in row over pint of beer

A man allegedly had his throat slashed open and his jugular vein cut by his best friend in a row over a pint, a court has heard.

Luke Walsh (23) has gone on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accused of putting a pint glass into his friend's throat and bringing it down as far as his Adam's apple.

The alleged victim, Colm Doyle, told the jury he thought he was going to die and that he had been left with a very visible scar.

"It happened out of the blue," he told the jury. "I was pretty much on my deathbed and had my family over me. It's not something that should happen to anyone."

He said Mr Walsh had been his best friend since school and they had just returned from a trip to Amsterdam together at the time of the incident.

Mr Walsh, of Broadford Drive, Ballinteer, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Doyle at the Rockfield Lounge, Dundrum, on March 5, 2009.

Mr Doyle told prosecuting counsel Monika Leech that he met Mr Walsh and other friends in the pub at around 10pm. He went outside for a cigarette and returned to find Mr Walsh drinking his pint. He said he told this to the accused but was told to "f**k off".

Mr Doyle said he told Mr Walsh to keep the pint and got another one for himself. Later in the night he again found the Mr Walsh drinking his pint.

When Mr Doyle confronted him again, he claims the accused told him again to "f**k off" and "put the glass into my neck and brought it down as far as my Adam's apple".

He said Mr Walsh then hit him again with a piece of glass in his hand. The witness said he started hitting him back and the two exchanged blows until bar staff broke them up.

An ambulance was called and took Mr Doyle to hospital where he said he was operated on and given blood transfusions. He said the next day a further operation was required to close the veins and arteries in his neck, including his jugular.

Defence counsel Patrick Reynolds put it to Mr Doyle that a witness saw him hit the accused first and the accused responded by slapping Mr Doyle in the neck with a glass in his hand.

He suggested it was Mr Doyle who started the fight and that his client swung a punch but "unfortunately" had a glass in his hand. He suggested the glassing was "accidental".

My Doyle denied that was how the incident happened.

The trial continues before Judge Joseph Matthew.

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