Bravery award winner warned he may face jail after assault

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A Claudy man who has been awarded for his bravery in the past has been warned he may be jailed for assaulting a man.

Ciaran McFeely, of Foreglen Road, Claudy and his 22-year-old cousin Niall Conal McFeely, of Sheascan View, Dungiven, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to the man on June 13, 2011.

Derry Crown Court heard the cousins jumped out of a white transit van and assaulted the man as he walked up Dungiven Main Street.

An eye witness said that up to four men were involved in the attack, however only two have been apprehended.

They pulled the man to the ground and he landed on his side and he curled up in a ball covering his face. As a result of the assault the man sustained two head wounds, one of which required 11 stitches and the other required seven staples and four stitches.

Three other people, including the heavily pregnant fiancee of 23-year-old Ciaran McFeely admitted providing false alibis for the cousins. Patricia Farren (24) of Foreglen Road, Claudy, Evin Terence King (22) of Drumceatt Park, Limavady and 22-year-old Thomas McGuigan, of Irwin Avenue, Limavady, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by making the false statements to police.

Farren claimed she had driven her fiance to a hotel in Maghera and they had been there until the early hours of the morning.

King and McGuigan claimed that Niall McFeely had been with them watching a sports programme in Limavady at the time of the assault.

It was revealed to the court that prior to the defendants entering their guilty pleas threats had been made against the injured party.

A bullet was sent to the Samaritans in Derry telling the man to get out of the country, however it was accepted the threat did not come from any of the defendants. Judge Piers Grant adjourned sentencing stating “these are serious matters and I am going to take some time to consider them”.

He added that the custody threshold had been passed in relation to all the defendants and remanded them in custody until nest week.