A teenager has been warned that his unprovoked attack on a man who was left covered in blood and missing a tooth could have landed him in prison.
Nathan Rutledge, of Church Hill Road, Drummenagh Beg, Derrygonnelly, appeared at Fermanagh Court and admitted assaulting Mark Griffin, occasioning him actual bodily harm.
He was given 180 hours of community service and ordered to pay Mr. Griffin �250 compensation.
A prosecutor told the court that around 2.30am on Sunday, May 27, three men assaulted a man at The Diamond in Enniskillen. Two were later arrested but neither of them was Rutledge. The police were unable to ascertain the extent of the victim's injuries at the time but he was covered in blood. He was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Erne Hospital and later examined by a police doctor. One of his front teeth had been knocked out, another was broken and he had lacerations and swelling to the front and back of his head. CCTV was viewed and 19-year-old Rutledge was identified. He was interviewed by police and said he couldn't remember the night in question, replying "no comment" to a number of the questions.
Defence solicitor Niall Bogue said alcohol played a large part in the incident. Rutledge was associating with people outside his normal group of friends.
"He wasn't the main protagonist in this but became involved in something he shouldn't," added Mr. Bogue.
District Judge Liam McNally told Rutledge: "This type of gratuitous and entirely unprovoked violence can, even with a clear record, result in a custodial sentence."
Giving him 180 hours of community service, he said he was taking account of the teenager's clear record and his admission of guilt at the first opportunity.