Man could not remember throwing punch outside Magherafelt pub

Magherafelt Courthouse.
Magherafelt Courthouse.

A man was so drunk he did not remember punching another man after leaving a Magherafelt pub, the local Magistrates Court was told.

Cathal Bernard Madden (28), of Moyagoney Road, Portglenone, was fined £250 for assaulting Fergal Hegarty, causing him actual bodily harm.

Madden was also ordered to pay Mr Hegarty £400 compensation.

The court heard the incident happened at Queen Street around 2.30am on November 9 last year while Madden was arguing with a female.

A prosecuting lawyer explained that a witness told police the defendant and the female were shouting into each others faces when the injured party appeared to “step in” to stop it and was punched. She said the witness noticed the female hitting Madden with a handbag.

She told the court that an ambulance was tasked to the scene to assist the injured party.

He is a very hard working young man and has been in full-time employment since he was 16

Continuing, the lawyer added that when spoken to by police the defendant could not provide an explanation for his actions.

Defence solicitor, Stewart Ballentine, said the incident had given the defendant “a number of sleepless nights” and was not taking issue with anything that was said.

Mr Ballentine explained the defendant had been working for several weeks without a break and was taken out by friends to licensed premises in Magherafelt.

The solicitor said Madden did not remember any of the events after leaving the premises.

He pointed out the defendant had no recollection of “landing the blow” or being hit by a handbag and did not even know the name of the man he hit.

Fortunately the man was not seriously injured and he wished to apologise for his action, continued Mr Ballentine.

He added that Madden came from a good home background and lived at home with his mother and father.

“He is a very hard working young man and has been in full-time employment since he was 16,” he told the court.

Mr Ballentine said the defendant wished to apologise to the injured party and to the court for his behaviour.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Alan White commented that Madden had to be given credit for an early plea and his clear record.

Mr White added there was a low likelihood of re-offending and, in the circumstances, a community service order would not be appropriate as the defendant was working.