Ballykelly man punched karaoke singer in eye

Limavady Courthouse
Limavady Courthouse

A judge has described an assault by a 30-year-old Ballykelly man on another male who was singing karaoke as “an unjustified and unwarranted”.

Keith Hamilton from Riverview in Ballykelly was sentenced at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court heard on July 12 of this year at a bar in Ballykelly Hamilton punched the man in the eye in an unprovoked attack. The court heard the victim needed four stitches for the injury.

A prosecuting lawyer said Hamilton said he “just couldn’t recall the incident”.

Defence counsel, Nicki Rountree, said Hamilton had been out with friends and had “over indulged on this occasion” and “all rational thinking seems to have been lost”.

Ms Rountree said since the incident Hamilton had “moderated his drinking considerably”, and the incident “has scared him”.

Ms Rountree said the offence was “extremely serious”.

She said it was the first offence of violence on Hamilton’s record and could be considered as being “out of character” for him. She said he “simply didn’t remember” the incident, but had met the matter in a sensible way with his guilty plea.

District Judge Liam McNally said it was “a serious assault”, which was “unjustified and unwarranted”.

Sentencing, Judge McNally said he would take into account Hamilton’s limited record and his guilty plea.

The judge imposed a four-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. Hamilton was also told to pay £300 compensation to the victim of the assault.