Assault was ‘pre-emptive self defence,’ Magherafelt Court told

Magherafelt Courthouse.

Magherafelt Courthouse.

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A GROUNDSMAN who fractured a man’s jaw during an argument was given a Conditional Discharge for three years at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

James McManus (48), of Sandy Grove, Magherafelt, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Brendan Thomas Kearney last December.

A prosecuting lawyer said on December 27 police received a report of an assault that had occurred in the Aughrim Road area of Magherafelt involving two males.

He explained that the matter stemmed from an earlier disagreement between them in a carry out premises and the pair had left going their separate ways.

The lawyer said the dispute continued at Fair Hill and along the Aughrim Road where the assault occurred. He said the injured party claimed that he had not seen where the punch came from.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said the defendant had originally intended to contest the charge.

He said McManus had no previous convictions and that his action could best be described as pre-emptive self defence.

Mr Devlin added that there was nothing on-going between the parties and defendant was a hard working man who had come over from England to attend court.

District Judge Des Perry ordered defendant to pay £250 compensation to the Mr Kearney.