Assault victim sustained £10,000 worth of dental damage

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who was assaulted sustained dental damage which will cost in excess of £10,000 to correct, a court has heard.

Nineteen-year-old Connor Murphy, of Glen Road, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on February 6, last year.

He also admitted driving offences and possessing cannabis on September 29, 2015.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the teen was in a position to immediately pay £10,000 compensation to the injured party.

The victim was in court for the hearing and the court was told Murphy punched the injured party once in the face.

The man required immediate medical attention in the hospital as three front teeth were knocked out and severe damage was caused to other teeth.

The victim also sustained injuries to his upper lip and gum which required stitches.

His treatment is ongoing and will be for a number of years, it was revealed.

During police interview, Murphy admitted punching the victim once but he also claimed that he was acting in self defence.

In September last year police attention was drawn to a parked car because of the passenger’s behaviour.

The defendant was in the driver’s seat and he explained that the car belonged to his mother.

Murphy claimed he didn’t have the key and had not driven the car.

However, the bonnet of the vehicle was warm and the key was found in the ignition.

The teen was searched and a small quantity of cannabis was found in his pocket.

Murphy’s mother later confirmed she did not give her son permission to take the car.

Defence counsel Nicola Coulter said that on the night of the assault her client had consumed a large amount of alcohol at an 18th birthday party.

She said Murphy had only started drinking a short time before and to consume so much alcohol was ‘not like him’.

District Judge Barney McElholm suspended a ten month sentence for three years.

He also ordered that the £10,000 be paid to the injured party immediately.

In relation to the driving offences, the judge ordered Murphy to complete 100 hours community service and 12 months on probation. Six penalty points were also imposed.

The judge warned the teen that if he came back before the court in the next three years it would be ‘practically impossible’ to avoid a custodial sentence.