Man jailed for ‘appalling’ assault

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A man who was left with serious injuries when he was assaulted will require further surgery, a court has heard.

The victim sustained a fractured skull, fractured jaw, fractured cheeks, a torn ear lobe and a perforated ear drum among other injuries when he was assaulted by 20-year-old Anton Gerard Kerr.

Kerr, of Main Street, Dungiven, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm in the early hours of April 15, 2012.

He also admitted a charge of assault occasioing actual bodily harm in relation to another man, who sustained bruising in the incident.

Derry Crown Court heard the injured party and his friend had just left a take-away when they saw Kerr arguing with his girlfriend. He warned the 20-year-old not to be hitting her.

Kerr then followed the men and assaulted the victim as he lay on the ground, punching him several times about the head.

The court was told the victim had to have metal plates inserted in his cheeks and jaws and continues to suffer from numbness in his face as a result of the extensive injuries he sustained.

It was revealed Kerr suffers from ADHD and the days before the assault had stopped taking his medication because ‘some of his peers felt he was more fun without it’.

Jailing the 20-year-old for two years and seven months, Judge Philiip Babington said it was an ‘appalling assault’ and Kerr had behaved in a ‘cowardly way’.

Kerr will spend 13 months in custody and the remaining 18 months of his sentence on licence.