Dispute over car leads to fight in street

Published: 22 Oct 2012 13:02

Two brothers have each been fined £40 for attacking a man in a dispute over the sale of a car.

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Two brothers have each been fined £40 for attacking a man in a dispute over the sale of a car.

Fermanagh Court heard that the vehicle turned out not to be serviceable and it became a "running sore" between 34-year-old Kane Whitley, his 30-year-old brother, Errol, both of Windmill Heights, Enniskillen, and Patrick McFarland.

A prosecutor explained that at approximately 2.30am on Sunday, February 19, McFarland arrived at Enniskillen Police Station and said he had been assaulted in nearby Darling Street by Kane and Errol Whitley. He said he had been walking towards a taxi rank and they were following him, shouting at him, before attacking him. People on the other side of the street came across and separated them.

The prosecutor said CCTV showed McFarland walking along the street with a woman and being struck a number of times and kicks apparently being directed towards him. He suffered lumps and cuts to his head, several scrapes to his body and an injury to a finger.

The Whitleys' defence solicitor, Mr. Bernard Corrigan, said: "It's somewhat unusual to see two men of this age appear in this court for offences of this nature."

He said the incident "didn't happen in a vacuum".

He told the court: "There's a history relating to the sale of a motor vehicle to Errol Whitley and it was not serviceable. It turned out to be something of a running sore."

Mr. Corrigan said the Whitleys would say that they met McFarland earlier that night and he made comments about the sale of the car. They had been drinking and pursued him down the street.

"It appears to be a one-off and an aberration of their good behaviour," he stated, adding: "Thankfully the injuries weren't that serious."

Mr. Corrigan said there was a certain amount of "summary justice" when people known to McFarland intervened, with six of them perpetrating an assault on the Whitley brothers, and at least two chasing them down Darling Street.

However, the prosecutor said she had specifically watched the CCTV for assaults on the Whitleys and after the people separated them from McFarland they went back to their own side of the street. It was "nothing more than intervention".

Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop said he accepted that what the Whitleys did was out of character and may have been brought about by their intoxication.

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