Suspended sentence for unprovoked assault

A man who admitted an unprovoked ‘one-punch’ assault in the city centre has received a suspended sentence.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 10:18 am

Szymon Nowak, of Kular Court, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm on March 7, 2019.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the injured party was knocked unconscious after he was punched by a man in the Shipquay Street area of the city.

The man sustained wound to the back of his head after falling to the ground.

This injury required five stitches and paramedics believed he had concussion.

CCTV was circulated of the attacker and Nowak was apprehended by police in the William Street area a short time later.

During interview, the 23-year-old made no comment.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley accepted the assault was totally unprovoked and his client can offer ‘no excuse whatsoever’ for what happened.

He said the Nowak’s punch came ‘completely out of the blue’ for the injured party.

Suspending an eight month sentence for two years, District Judge Barney McElholm said this type of assault can ‘often result in a fatality’.

“The victim is totally unaware he was about to be attacked and had no opportunity to defend themselves or to even break their fall.”

The judge also imposed a compensation order of £1,500.