Suspended term for ‘glassing’ incident

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A thirty-year-old man convicted of glassing a reveller in the Bentley bar last year was so drunk he didn’t realised he was holding a glass, Derry Magistrate’s Court heard on Friday, October 7.

Paul O’Neill (30), of College Glen, appeared at the court charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding the man contrary to Section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 on August 2, 2015. A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor told the court how police received a report that a man had been glassed in the Bentley bar at approximately 1.45am on the morning on that date. When police arrived the injured party was in an ambulance, the court heard. Examination of the bar’s CCTV footage showed the defendant had been standing on the upper dance floor of the bar with a glass in his left hand, the PPS solicitor said.

Mr O’Neill was then observed swinging the glass into the injured party’s face before throwing further punches at the man. The PPS solicitor said the injured party suffered some injuries including haemorrhaging to his left eye. When interviewed Mr O’Neill couldn’t remember the incident. Defence counsel, Eoghan Devlin, told the court the defendant had thrown a punch but hadn’t realised there was a glass in his hand.

He said Mr O’Neill, who he described as bright young man, who was in full time employment and had recently engaged in education, had accepted he was the assailant when shown the CCTV footage. He told the court Mr O’Neill hadn’t adopted an “ostrich approach” but rather had undertaken full responsibility. District Judge Barney McElholm imposed a six month sentence suspended for two years and a compensation order of £1,250.