Three on trial over threats to publican

Tuesday 23 April 2013 16.28
John Stokes and two other men pleaded not guilty (Pic: PA)
John Stokes and two other men pleaded not guilty (Pic: PA)

Three men, including a publican, have gone on trial accused of demanding that a pub in Dublin cease trading and close within 24 hours.

Daryl Mulcahy, 21, from Matt Talbot Court, Derek Nolan, 30, and 55-year-old John Stokes, the owner of the Players Lounge in Fairview, all pleaded not guilty at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Stokes who now lives in Scotland also denies a charge of assault.

Opening the case this morning, Senior Counsel Paul Carroll said the case centres on two Dublin pubs, the Castle Inn in Summerhill and the Players Lounge in Fairview, which was owned and run by Mr Stokes.

Shane Simpson was a barman at The Castle Inn, which was operated by his brother, and the prosecution alleges that Mr Stokes went there three times on 13 March 2011.

At 8.30pm that evening, the jury was told that Mr Stokes jumped out of a taxi and told Mr Simpson who was outside that he was looking to speak to his brother and said: "I want you'se out of there and if you're not gone by Paddy's Day, you'se and the pub are gone."

This afternoon, Mr Simpson told the court that Mr Stokes told him he wanted to speak to his brother Stephen who ran the pub.

Mr Simpson said after the two men met, along with a number of other men, that his brother looked shaken.

He also gave evidence that Mr Stokes boxed him in the chest.

Mr Simpson told the court that four men, the three accused and a fourth man, called to the pub to see his brother but he told them he was not there and was not coming back.

He said he asked them what it was about and they told him they had received threatening phone calls from the pub and were seeking video footage.

He said they took one of his mobile phones and left, but he rang his brother from a second one he had.

Mr Simpson said he then saw the car with the men in it coming back and he stuck up his finger and shouted at Mr Nolan.

He said it was about Mr Nolan's tattoo on his face and that he "gave him a bit of stick about it".

He then said two of the men, Mr Mulcahy and Mr Nolan, got out of the car and chased him.

He ran on to the North Circular Road, saw a garda car and stopped it.

He said he was "a bit afraid" because he did not know what was going to happen and "a bit annoyed they had been down about the phone calls".

The trial continues.