Neighbour fined for car-park assault during row over apartment noise

By Tom Tuite

An app developer has been fined €500 for assaulting a neighbour who told a court he was grabbed by the neck during a row about noise from his apartment’s wooden floors.

Father-of-one Mark Somers, 52, who lives at the Metropolitan Apartments, in Kilmainham, Dublin 8, was found guilty of assaulting former neighbour David Glynn in an underground car park at his building on the morning of August 28, 2015.

Somers denied the charge claiming he held him by his lapels to prevent an attack, however, he was found guilty by Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court. A victim impact statement was furnished to the court and the judge noted that Mr Glynn was not amenable to accepting money from Somers.

Mark Somers. Pic: Collins Courts

Counsel for the defence pleaded with the court not to record a conviction which could hamper Somers’s future. In pleas for leniency, Judge Smyth heard that the accused has had a long work history and had been employed in the UK and the United States over a 25-year period.

He was on social welfare but had plans to go abroad again to work at developing apps. Counsel asked the court to note that there had been a history between his client and the victim whose injuries had been on the lower end of the scale and had not been permanent.

Emailed testimonials from other people in the same building were furnished to the judge by the defence.

During the trial, Mr Glynn said Somers used slurs about Irish people during the attack which left him with red marks on his neck.

The trial heard Somers had been complaining about noise which he claimed “reverberated” through the wooden floors of Mr Glynn’s upstairs apartment.

David Glynn told the court he moved into the building in September 2014 and the defendant’s apartment was directly underneath. He said it was a good place to live.

David Glynn

He said at first Somers made small-talk about the management company and had asked him about getting carpet on his wooden floor because he could hear noise coming through.

Subsequently, he said, Somers reported that the noise was bad and he wanted details of his landlord to discuss the problem. He said later he received an “abusive phone call”. Mr Glynn said Somers’s complaint was that he could hear noise coming through the floor, footsteps or a glass breaking on the floor but no-one else had made complaints.

Mr Glynn said every time Somers raised the issue about the floor noise, he contacted his landlord.

He said that at about 9am on Aug. 28, 2015, he had been in the car park in the building and Somers was exiting and stopped at the gates and called him. Mr Glynn said he left his own car and went over to the driver’s side window of Mr Somers’s vehicle.

He alleged Somers asked him if there was any news from the landlord about getting carpets. He said that by this time Somers had begun banging on his ceiling with a stick when something fell on his floor. “I said I don’t think it is appropriate behaviour, banging on the ceiling, I said it would not achieve anything”, Mr Glynn alleged, adding that Somers became abusive.

Mr Glynn said he told Somers to “back off” and he did not want to talk to him. He said there was some more abuse and he told Somers he was an “ignorant expletive”.

He alleged that Somers got out of his car and came towards him aggressively.

He said Somers “grabbed me by the throat for a few seconds”.

He said it lasted about three seconds and he was a little bit shocked. His partner took photos of red marks on his neck.

In cross-examination he also denied calling him Somers, who has an English accent, “an “English c**t” and said that claim was a lie. He rejected suggestions he had stuck his face in Somers’s car window while holding the driver’s door shut.

He denied that he was angry or wished to hit Somers or that the defendant had grabbed him by the lapels to protect himself.

The court heard that Mr Glynn said in his statement to gardai that he remained calm and “stared down” Somers.

He also rejected the defendant’s claim that there had been a lot of anti-social behaviour and noise and continuous loud music coming from his apartment. He said if there it would have been reported to gardai and building’s management company. Mr Glynn also said that he had never had complaints from other residents.

In evidence Somers accused Mr Glynn of not listening to requests from others.

He also claimed that on later dates the victim had started playing the saxophone and rolled steel balls on the floor. He said the noise on the wooden floors was horrendous and reverberated into his apartment underneath. Wooden floors were not allowed in the building he claimed.

He said he had been thinking about moving out and had left notes on Mr Glynn’s door and “tried amicably”.

He claimed it was Mr Glynn who was aggressive and had called him a “bit of an f*****g ignorant English p***k”. He claimed he had to climb out the passenger side of his car and had grabbed Mr Glynn by the lapels and restrained him. He thought he was going to be assaulted by him, he claimed.

Somers alleged Mr Glynn was shaking and froth was coming out of his mouth and he “did not know what the hell he was going to do”.

He said he thought the photo of the red marks on Mr Glynn’s neck seemed bizarre.

Judge Smyth rejected the defence argument that Somers, who had no prior criminal convictions, had protected himself from injury, and he was found guilty. The lapels were below the area where Mr Glynn had red marks, the judge said.

KEYWORDS: Court, Assault

 

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