Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland barrister denies headbutt assault on Dublin creche owner

By Jessica Magee

A 41-year-old barrister from Northern Ireland who is accused of breaking the nose of a Dublin creche director has told his trial that he "walked into an ambush".

Michael Waters has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to the woman at her creche on January 4, 2012.

He gave evidence that it was "complete fiction" that he had threatened to hurt and tried to bite the woman before head-butting her in the face.

He told the court that he had turned up at the creche "in a very everyday fashion" before being assaulted by the creche director and deputy manager after a verbal disagreement.

He said that both women had pulled him to the ground and caused him a knee injury.

"I was assaulted, I clearly walked into an ambush," he said.

Mr Waters, of Ava Avenue in Belfast, told defence counsel Marie Torrens BL that he walked into the creche at about midday and was sitting upstairs in a room where children were finishing their lunch when the director asked if he could have a chat with her downstairs.

He said that when he refused to leave they had a verbal disagreement and the director "performed a little push manoeuvre" to get him outside the door, and then blocked him from re-entering.

He denied pushing the woman, becoming aggressive, threatening her or attempting to bite her.

"She started pulling at me to try and get me away from the door, I think she also put her knee in the back of my leg, it caused me to fall over and collide with her, I think the back of my head struck something," said Mr Waters. He told the court that he had a condition involving muscle atrophy that caused him difficulties with walking and affected his balance.

Under cross-examination from prosecution counsel Colm O'Briain BL, Mr Waters said other creche workers who gave evidence about the incident were lying.

He said that the "bang on the nose" suffered by the director was a "relatively minor injury" and that it didn't appear to him from photos that her nose was bent.

Medical evidence heard in court said the woman had sustained nasal bruising spreading under her eye, a cut to her nose and deviation of the septum requiring surgery three weeks later.

In his closing speech, prosecuting counsel said Mr Waters had "completely lost control", displayed "pure self-righteous anger" and was constantly blaming others.

The case continues today.

QUOTES

"They were both grabbing on to me and pulling at me, both had one arm on either side of me. I let them assault me, they pulled me forward and I fell and sustained a very bad knee injury."

Michael Waters, barrister

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