A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to six months in jail over an assault on New Year’s Eve that was filmed on a mobile phone and then circulated on social media.

Patrick McMulkin, of Sally’s Wood, Irvinestown, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault on December 31, 2017.

Meanwhile, in connection to a separate incident around a year ago, he entered further guilty pleas to using disorderly behaviour in a public place, namely Necarne Estate, Irvinestown, and obstructing police on July 3, 2017.

McMulkin appeared before Fermanagh Magistrates Court on Monday afternoon for sentencing via videolink from Maghaberry Prison, where he is currently a serving prisoner in connection with other matters.

The court heard that, at 8.50pm on December 31, a member of the public contacted the police and informed them about a Snapchat video that was circulating, showing the defendant assaulting the victim.

Snapchat is a popular mobile phone messaging application that allows users to share photos and video clips.

Police also received two further complaints from members of the public about the video, the court heard.

After locating the injured party, he alleged that he had been assaulted by the defendant.

The verbal allegation was recorded by a PSNI body cam, but the victim declined to make a formal complaint.

He had sustained bruising to his face in the attack, the court heard.

When McMulkin was arrested, he gave a “predominantly no comment” interview. He alleged that he knew nothing about the incident.

Police later downloaded the Snapchat video, which showed the defendant assaulting the injured party.

In relation to the earlier incident, the court heard that, on July 3 last year, McMulkin tried to intervene when his friend was being arrested in the area of Irvinestown.

During the incident, the defendant behaved in an “abusive, aggressive and threatening manner” towards police officers.

Defending counsel, Heather Phillips, told the court that this incident had “escalated very quickly” and that her client’s friend had been struck “several times” by the police.

The barrister insisted that McMulkin’s input was “more of a vocal remonstration” towards the PSNI because he was mindful of an upcoming court appearance.

Moving on to the Snapchat assault, Ms. Phillips told the court that, while it was "unpleasant", the video didn’t represent the entire story of the incident.

She added that there had been “no significant injuries” in the case.

Describing her client as a “troubled young man” with significant difficulties, the barrister said that he had abused alcohol and other substances when he was younger and also had a history of self-harm.

However, she revealed that there had been a “sea change” in his behaviour following the unexpected death of his eldest brother earlier this year.

District judge, Michael Ranaghan, observed that he had listened to what had been said, had read the various reports and viewed the video footage.

The judge imposed a total jail sentence of six months in relation to these offences.

He directed the defendant to serve this latest term concurrently with his existing Crown Court sentence.