Derry Court: Jailed for assault over argument about religion

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A postman who assaulted a man during an argument about religion has been jailed for six months.

Diarmuid McLaughlin, of Stewarts Terrace, was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a contest at the local magistrates court.

He was also found guilty of disorderly behaviour on licensed premises and possessing cocaine and cannabis.

The charges relate to an incident in Da Vinci’s on April 6.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin told the court his client has a limited record and is likely to lose his job as a result of this conviction.

He added that in the past the 27-year-old has been commended for his bravery and was a ‘good Samaritan’ in an incident where someone was being racially abused.

The court heard that sentencing had been adjourned for a probation pre-sentence report, however McLaughlin did not attend appointments for this.

Mr Devlin said his client ‘can’t really offer any reason’ for his failure to engage with probation.

Jailing McLaughlin for six months, District Judge Barney McElholm said he was left with ‘no other option’.