Men given suspended sentences for assault

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

Two men have admitted knocking a man out during a city

centre assault.

John Burke (23) and 28-year-old Mark McMullen, both of Kavanagh Court, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and disorderly behaviour. The charges relate to an incident on Great James Street on June 16, 2013.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Burke was seen to assault a woman, knocking her to the ground and the injured party intervened. Both defendants got into a fight with the man and he was knocked unconscious.

The court heard the injured party sustained cuts and bruising.

During police interview, Burke and McMullen claimed they were acting in self-defence.

Eoghan Devlin, defence counsel for Burke, said his client does not have a criminal record for violence. He added there is no ongoing animosity between the 23-year-old and the injured party.

Nicola Rountree, defending McMullen, said her client’s last conviction for assault was in 2007. She said both men were in employment and could pay compensation to the injured party.

Suspending seven month jail sentences for three years, District Judge Peter King said ‘this was a mean and alarming offence’.

He also ordered each defendant to pay £250 compensation.