A 21-YEAR-OLD man who subjected another man to a “prolonged” assault without justification has been ordered to pay £500 compensation to his victim.

Mark Weir, of Makenny Crescent, Ballinamallard, pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting the male and a further charge of assaulting him, occasioning actual bodily harm, on January 18, 2015.

Fermanagh Magistrates Court heard that, on January 18 last year, police received a complaint from the injured party, alleging that he had been assaulted on three separate occasions by the defendant in the early hours of the morning.

He told officers that there had been “tension” between the two following a road traffic collision in December 2013, when the injured party had been driving and Weir was one of his passengers.

This car crash was the subject of ongoing criminal and civil cases, the court heard.

The injured party informed the police that the first assault had happened at around 12.30am inside the Bush Bar in Enniskillen. He alleged that Weir had approached him on the dancefloor and headbutted him, before friends stepped in and separated them.

Later in the morning, at 2am, the injured party was in the Diamond when the defendant initially walked past him, before turning around and headbutting him again. He then left the Diamond and headed in the direction of the Crowes Nest pub, but was followed by Weir.

After making reference to the car crash, the defendant punched him. The injured party then crossed the road away from the defendant and made his way back to the Diamond.

When police subsequently intervened, Weir told them: “That’s right. I’ve already got him and I’ll get him again.”

The injured party was taken to the A&E department at the South West Acute Hospital. He sustained a nasal fracture and bruising to his left cheek, the court heard.

The following day, the defendant was arrested at Enniskillen police station and gave an account of the three incidents. He alleged that on each occasion he had been acting in self-defence.

CCTV footage of the incidents was then obtained by police.

Defending counsel, Stephen Mooney, told the court that he wasn’t going to indulge in any “character assassination” of the injured party, but added that he understood he was due to face charges in court in connection with the car crash imminently.

The barrister said that his client’s brother had also attracted “significant” injuries as a result of the collision. However, Mr Mooney conceded that in no way justified Weir’s actions.

While admitting that there was “animosity” between the defendant and the injured party, the barrister said there had been no repetition of the incidents in the intervening year.

Referring to the pre-sentence report and a further report on the defendant’s mental health, Mr Mooney said that his client had suffered “some sort of disorder” that resulted in him becoming anti-social, aggressive and caused him to come into contact with the injured party.

“It was against a specific background that these offences happen,” he said.
Describing the CCTV footage as “not particularly clear”, the barrister added that his client had accrued some money that could recompense the injured party.

District judge, Nigel Broderick, observed that whatever happened in the road traffic accident, it was no justification for a “prolonged” assault on the injured party.

“Whatever feeling of animosity did not justify taking the law into your own hands,” the judge told the defendant.

Taking into account that there had been no repetition of the behaviour in the last year, Mr Broderick said that, not without some hesitation, he was minded to impose a suspended sentence on this occasion.

The defendant received a three-month jail term for common assault and a concurrent six-month term for the assault, occasioning actual bodily harm.

Both of these sentences were suspended for two years.

The judge also ordered Weir to pay £500 compensation to his victim.