A GALBALLY man has narrowly missed being sent to prison after he admitted kicking and punching a colleague upon learning that he was being dismissed from his job.
Malachy Rafferty, 44, from Lurgylea Road, pleaded guilty at an earlier sitting of Dungannon Magistrates Court to a single charge of common assault, arising out of an incident which took place at the premises of McCloskey International in Killyman almost two years ago.
A prosecuting lawyer explained that on April 12, 2012, police attended the premises in response to a report that Rafferty had assaulted another person on the shop floor, kicking and punching the injured party to the facial area.
Nobody was willing to make statements to the police about the incident, the prosecutor continued, however, the attack was witnessed by a number of people.
Defending, Rafferty’s lawyer said his client believed he should have been escorted off the premises after being told he was losing his job.
This course of action may have prevented the incident occurring, suggested Rafferty’s legal representative.
The lawyer also explained that Rafferty had not been formally interviewed in relation to the incident until almost a year afterwards.
“He (Rafferty) is well aware this is not the way to deal with workplace disputes”, added the defence lawyer.
“He clearly had anger control issues on this particular day. He had just lost his job and his temper was running high.”
In response to a question from District Judge, John Meehan, Rafferty’s lawyer confirmed the defendant had been sacked from his job due to a complaint which was made against him by the injured party.
Sentencing Rafferty to five months in prison, suspended for two years, District Judge Meehan told him: “This was an attack in the workplace. People have to get along in the workplace for things to run along smoothly. You took this person from behind, which was a cowardly and aggravating factor.”
In addition to the suspended prison term, Rafferty was ordered to pay the victim in the case £400 in compensation.