Jury sworn in for trial of Limerick man accused of throwing acid in pool player’s face

John Cross of St Lawrence's Park, Garryowen, who was charged with causing serious harm to Ian Pickford.

A MAN has gone on trial accused of disfiguring a former Irish international junior pool player’s face in an acid attack four years ago.

John Cross (35), of St Lawrence’s Park in Garryowen, Limerick City, pleaded not guilty to one count of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Ian Pickford.

A jury of eight men and four women were sworn in before Judge Tom O’Donnell to hear the case at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

Outlining the State’s case, prosecuting counsel John O’Sullivan BL said it would be alleged that Mr Cross “threw a quantity of acid into the face of Ian Pickford” in the early hours of June 14, 2020.

“As a result of throwing this substance at Ian Pickford’s face, the prosecution alleges Ian Pickford suffered serious harm in the nature of a serious disfigurement to his face,” Mr O’Sullivan told the jury.

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“The prosecution alleges John Cross intentionally or recklessly caused serious harm to Ian Pickford at St Lawrence’s Park, Garryowen.”

Mr O’Sullivan said Ian Pickford was a well-known pool player who had played competitively.

Acid attack victim Ian Pickford.

Mr Pickford, who was accompanied to court by his parents, Gillian and Alan Pickford, was treated initially for his injuries at University Hospital Limerick and transferred to St James Hospital in Dublin, Mr O’Sullivan told the jury.

Mr Cross, who wore a dark navy suit in court, spoke only to confirm his plea of “not guilty” to the single charge against him.

Adjourning the trial to Wednesday, Judge O’Donnell told the jury members not to discuss the case with anyone outside of themselves.

“You haven’t heard a scrap of evidence yet, and it is very important you keep an open mind. It is important you come at this with a blank canvass,” the judge told the jury.

Judge O’Donnell remanded Mr Cross on continuing bail to appear before judge Dermot Sheehan for trial at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday (January 24).