Baseball bat attacker is branded a ‘coward’

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A man who assaulted his friend with a baseball bat has been described as a ‘coward’ by a judge.

Mark Anthony Daniel Gill, of Glenside Gardens, was jailed for a total of four years and ten months.

He will serve half this sentence in custody and half on licence in the community.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and common assault on July 28, 2015.

Derry Crown Court heard Gill assaulted his girlfriend in a ‘completely unprovoked’ manner in the presence of his mother and five-year-old niece.

He slapped his girlfriend and grabbed a cigarette out of her mouth.

His friend was called to the house and saw Gill punch his girlfriend in the face and grab her by the throat.

The man remonstrated with the defendant about his behaviour and a fight ensued between them.

After he left the house, Gill went upstairs and got a baseball bat.

The court heard Gill followed his friend and hit him with the baseball bat from behind.

This injured party was struck five to six times with the bat and fell to the ground as a result.

Gill said he would kill the man and also threatened to wreck his flat.

The injured party tried to leave but he was chased and punched to the head by Gill.

The court heard the injured party sustained two fractures to his nose, a fractured cheekbone and bruising to his face and ribs.

He also sustained a laceration to his head which required two staples.

During police interview, the defendant admitted having a fight with his friend but denied using a weapon.

He claimed that the injured party had hit him with a length of metal and he was acting in self-defence.

It was revealed the 25-year-old was in breach of a number of suspended sentences, including one which was imposed four days before these assaults. The court also heard that Gill has convictions for causing grievous bodily harm, common assault and possessing an offensive weapon.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said: “This was a very serious matter. Quite clearly you lost your temper. For no good reason, you assaulted your girlfriend and then simply laid into the other injured party, your friend, with a baseball bat just because he suggested you should not be behaving towards your girlfriend in that way. Those were the actions of a coward.”