‘Little Sisters’ turning alcoholic’s life round

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

An ex-accountant with a drink problem who kicked a man in the head on the Strand Road last year is turning his life around thanks to the ‘Little Sisters’ of the Cuan Mhuire rehab organisation.

Pascal Gibbons (39), of Lisnafin Park, Strabane, was one of two males who attacked a man, kicking him in the head on July 15 last year, the Court was told.

Whilst making a complaint to the PSNI the injured party, who suffered a broken nose, perforated ear drum and an abrasion to his eye, became unwell and had to be taken to hospital.

Defence Counsel Eoghan Devlin said it was an “unusual case” in that Gibbons’ co-accused had been acquitted and the defendant had been left “holding the baby.” Mr Devlin said Gibbons had “fallen very far; he used to be an accountant, but was an alcoholic.

“At the time the offence occurred Mr Gibbons was effectively a street drinker and only associated with people who were drinking alcohol,” added Mr Devlin.

The Court was told how Gibbons got himself into the Cuan Mhuire Rehab Programme run by the Sisters of Mercy; that he had completed the programme and wanted to be a “productive member of society.”

District Judge Neil Rafferty, imposing a 12 month jail term suspended for three years, observed that the ‘Little Sisters’ were not “shy and retiring.”

He said: “It is the simple truth about addiction, you can have as many supporters as you want, but the person who has to do it is you. But I’m not going to kick you while you’re down, that’s what you did to this man.”