Admitted punching friend

A 38 year-old Derry man who admitted punching a friend who he had gone to check on was given a suspended sentence at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

John Kerr of 25 Oakfield Mews pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm arising out of an incident at an apartment in the city on July 28.

The court heard that Kerr had gone to visit a friend because he was concerned about his drinking and an argument ensued. Kerr admitted punching his friend twice but said he acted in self defence after his friend came at him with a knife. The court was told that an ornamental dagger had been recovered by police officers at the scene and that Kerr sustained two cuts to his arm.

Defence barrister Eoin said what happened was “unfortunate” as the two men are friends. “He is not proud of what he did and accepts that he overreacted and misjudged the situation,” he said. Deputy District Judge John Connolly imposed a sentence of four months suspended for 12 months and a restraining order for 12 months.