An electrical contractor who attacked a barman during his Christmas night out and used homophobic language towards him has been convicted of common assault.

The court heard, Alan William Mulligan, Cherryville, Enniskillen was on a work night out on December 22, 2018 at The Moorings Restaurant in Bellanaleck.

The 52 year old was overheard calling one of his younger work colleagues a sectarian slur by the injured party who told Mulligan he was not allowed to use that type of language in the building.

Mulligan responded by saying to the injured party: “You’re one of those queers?” to which the injured party said he was not.

The defendant continued to abuse the injured party, constantly calling him “queer boy” during the homophobic attack.

Mulligan went on to attack the 27-year-old man, at one stage pushing him against a door. The injured party tried to push back before others intervened.

The defendant was told to get out before police came to which he replied that he did not care and he would just pay them off.

As a result of the incident, the injured party received a cut to the cheek and lip and also chipped his tooth.

Mulligan was interviewed and told officers he did not remember much as he had consumed too much alcohol.

He accepted apologised for what he had said and was embarrassed at the incident.

Niall Bogue, representing Mulligan, told the court his client ran a successful electrical business which employed 14 people. He said this incident was completely out of character and was the classic tale of a Christmas party with too much alcohol.

In relation to the sectarian slur used by Mulligan, Mr. Bogue said it was “work site banter” overheard by the injured party and with the benefit of hindsight Mulligan believed it was right to intervene.

At the time alcohol clouded his judgement and he took umbrage and reacted in an unacceptable way.

Mr. Bogue pointed out that the pre-sentence report compiled gave examples of his client’s remorse and regret and that his client had met this head on and it was extremely regrettable that this would sully his otherwise good character.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Mulligan he had read the pre-sentence report carefully and felt it was important to quote from it of how the 52 year old felt “deeply ashamed” and his behaviour was “disgraceful”.

Judge Broderick said it is quite clear this should be the reaction and the remorse appears to be genuine.

He said for a man of Mulligan’s position and age he should not be in this position before the court.

He added that the aggravating feature were the homophobic comments and then the assault and it does amount to a hate crime.

To mark the seriousness of the offence, Judge Broderick sentenced Mulligan to 12 months probation and 100 hours community service.