A Donegal man who ‘glassed’ former Derry City FC captain, Barry Molloy, after discovering he was having an affair with his wife, is to be sentenced next week.
Thirty-nine-years-old father-of-three Martin Cheung, from Ardban, in Muff, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully and maliciously wounding Barry Molloy in Granny Annie’s Bar in Waterloo Street at midnight on May 27 last year.
Derry Crown Court was told that a second charge of unlawful wounding with intent would be left on the books, not to be proceeded with without leave of the court or of the High Court.
A Public Prosecution Service barrister told Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey that Mr. Molloy had told him during consultations that he did not believe Cheung meant to injure him to the extent which he had, nor did he want Cheung to be sent to jail.
The court was told that Mr. Molloy is still in a relationship with Cheung’s estranged wife.
As a result of the assault, Mr. Molloy sustained a laceration to his left ear and to the left side of his forehead and had to have eight stitches inserted in his wounds.
The court heard that glass fragments were removed from both lacerations by medical staff who treated the injured party at Altnagelvin Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.
The incident was captured on CCTV and the prosecuting barrister said it “all happened in a split second” when Cheung, who had earlier consumed five cans of beer and five pints of beer, lunged at Mr. Molloy who was with a friend in the upstairs lounge of the bar.
He said Cheung was so drunk at the time that he did not realise he was holding a glass when he struck Mr. Molloy.
Describing the assault as one that fell within the lesser harm and lower culpability category, the prosecution barrister said the generous attitude of Mr. Molloy towards Cheung had some relevance in terms of sentencing.
Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said that Cheung, who has no previous criminal convictions, wanted to apologise to Mr. Molloy and to express his regret and remorse for inflicting the injuries on his victim. He said Cheung also wished to acknowledge Mr. Molloy’s extremely generous and fair-minded views of the incident.
He went on: “There is no excuse for behaviour like this. There can be no excuse for behaviour like this but I hope the court will bear in mind the background in understanding why someone like the defendant, who has no criminal record, would now find himself in court at all”.
The defence barrister said there had been no animosity since the assault which had been preceded by back-and-forth social media exchanges.
Mr. Devlin said that, since the incident, Cheung, who looks after his daughters three or four days each week, had gone through the most stressful period of his life. The barrister said his client realised immediately he had inflicted the injuries that ‘he made a very grave error of judgement.’
Judge McCaffrey said she wanted to read the various character references submitted on behalf of Cheung before she sentenced him. Cheung was released on continuing bail and will be sentenced on Tuesday, June 19.