It is not every day in a courtroom that you see the victim and defendant shake hands.

But that is what took place at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday following the conviction of Rian Duffy (25), of Aghascrebagh Road, Castlederg, for common assault.

Duffy was given 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay £400 in compensation to his victim.

However, the victim – who was in court – asked if the money could be donated to charity and, as Duffy went to leave, he called him back and shook his hand while wishing him well in his life.

The parties came across each other on November 6, 2021, when a male called to Enniskillen Police Station to report an assault.

The injured party said he was in his car at temporary traffic lights on the Sligo Road, Enniskillen, which were not working properly, when he got into an altercation with a worker, who punched him, causing an injury above his eye.

The injured party was a 79-year-old man at the time, and he did not know the identity of the assailant. When he was brought back up to the scene, he was unsuccessful in identifying him.

The next day, however, Duffy attended Enniskillen Police Station and gave a full and frank admission about the assault, for which he was ashamed and remorseful, and apologised for his actions.

If Duffy had not come forward, he may not have been identified or convicted.

He explained how he had got into a verbal argument and “lost his cool”, admitting hitting the man with his fist.

Duffy’s barrister, Ciaran Roddy, said he had been instructed that the incident arose as a driver had breached the temporary traffic signals, and this turned into an exchange with the victim.

Mr. Roddy said the victim in their impact statement had taken a “gracious approach” and it was clear he was keen to put the matter behind him.

He also pointed out that if Duffy had not presented at the police station, he would not have been brought to justice, and that this was not a case of Duffy being remorseful at the 11th hour – he was so from the get-go.

Mr. Roddy also added that in the 18 months since the incident, there have been no further incidents with Duffy, and according to his pre-sentence report, he has a low likelihood of re-offending.

District Judge Alana McSorley said there were a number of aggravating factors in this incident and the assault was committed in the context of “road rage”.

Judge McSorley described is as a “disgraceful action”, but acknowledged that Duffy was aware of his actions from the outset.

After convicting Duffy of common assault, Judge McSorley thanked the victim for the way they dealt with the matter.