Assaulted man he alleged called him a paedophile

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

A Waterside man busted another man’s front door, pinned him to his bed and assaulted him because he allegedly called him a paedophile.

Derry’s Magistrate’s Court heard on Friday that Martin John Neeson, of Rossdale, broke the wooden front door of the victim’s house on February 21st last year.

He then entered the man’s bedroom and berated the victim for calling him a paedophile. The 35 year-old then beat him about the face.

The court heard that the injured party’s partner took a hammer from under the bed, however, Neeson grabbed it from her and used it to strike the victim.

The defendant then left the property.

Neeson was arrested on March 21, however, the court was told he replied “no comment” after questioning.

District Judge Barney McElhom said that it was Neeson’s right to reply “no comment” however, this meant he had forsaken the right to make a full admission and get full credit. He added that while Neeson was making an allegation against the injured party saying there provocative behaviour “was there any proof that something was written on facebook?”

Neeson’s solicitor said his client and the victim had been good friends and that according to the pre-sentence report they had made up again.

He said his client had been intoxicated but had now re-engaged with the drugs and alcohol service to sort his life out.

“He has now spent time on remand and this has shaken him up,” he said.

Mr. McElholm said Neeson had previously engaged with addiction services but had been discharged because he missed appointments.

“It doesn’t impress me when people come in with a sentencing date looming and say they have re-engaged when they have had the opportunity to do so in the past,” he added.

“It doesn’t pull the wool over my eyes.

“This was a completely unprovoked attack.

“He says he was provoked but there is no evidence. The injured party denies this. In fact the injured party says he loaned this man money and when he asked the defendant for the money back he got angry.”

Neeson was jailed for four months for assault, and two months for criminal damage. Mr McElhom also imposed an offender levy of £25.

He was later released on his own bail of £500 pending appeal and ordered to have no contact with the injured party and not to drink alcohol.