Lord Maginnis found guilty of assault

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DUNGANNON peer and former Ulster Unionist MP Lord Maginnis has been found guilty of assault in relation to a ‘road rage’ incident in Dungannon last year.

The prosecution claimed that the 75-year-old, from Park Lane, Dungannon pulled out in front of Keith Kirk’s car on Park Road, Dungannon and that this was the match that lit the fuse.

Lord Maginnis said it was Mr Kirk’s bad driving that led to the confrontation.

A prosecuting lawyer said the horn-blowing had been “the match that lit the fuse” and that Lord Maginnis had got out of his car, approached Mr Kirk who was still sitting in his vehicle, grabbed him, verbally abused him and raised his fist in such a way as to put him in fear that he was going to be struck.

However, the defence accused Mr Kirk of making the context up - stating that Mr Maginnis had stopped to let a car out when Mr Kirk approached from behind him blaring the car horn.

Lord Maginnis, denied assault but admitting swearing at Keith Kirk during the altercation last year.

Lord Maginnis was fined £200 for the incident and ordered to pay the victim the same amount.

District Judge John Meehan said Lord Maginnis’ tirade left Mr Kirk very frightened and his sister, who had been in the passenger seat, “terrified”.

He said it was very sad that “a man who has given many years of the highest public service” should find himself in this position at the age of 75