Broke jaw with pool cue in bar

A 31-year-old who broke a man’s jaw in two places has been jailed for six years.

The victim was hit with a pool cue wielded by Sean Paul Farrelly in an ‘unprovoked attack’ in a Waterside bar.

Farrelly, of Strabane Old Road, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on January 30, 2011.

Derry Crown Court heard the 31-year-old was drinking with the injured party and the man’s girlfriend.

Later in the afternoon, Farrelly made ‘disparaging comments’ about the injured party before lifting a pool cue and striking him with it.

The tip of the cue struck the injured party in the ‘blind side’ of his face, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.

He was taken to hospital where it was discovered he had sustained a fractured jaw in two places.

The victim’s jaw had to be wired and he underwent a procedure to insert two mini plates and four screws.

A prosecutor told the court the assault has had a ‘profound effect’ on the injured party - he still has difficulty eating and has to eat softened food.

During police interview Farrelly said he had been drinking the whole day and couldn’t remember hitting the injured party with a pool cue.

However, he accepted committing the assault after he was shown CCTV footage.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said there was “no ongoing acrimony” between his client and the injured party.

He added “at the heart of this offending behaviour was a problem with binge consumption of alcohol”.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said it “was an appalling incident which has left this man, who works as an auxiliary nurse helping people in need of medical attention, still suffering from the painful injuries inflicted on him by you”.

The judge said the assault was totally unprovoked and perpetrated on a “defenseless man from the blind side, giving him no chance to defend himself”.

Farrelly received a determinate sentence of six years.

Half of the sentence will be spent in custody with the remainder being spent on licence.