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Man who violently assaulted terminally ill patient convicted in his absence

Craigavon Court

A man who violently assaulted a terminally ill patient has been convicted in his absence from court.

William Woods, 51, of Lynn Avenue, Dromore, was due to appear before Craigavon Magistrates’ on Wednesday afternoon but failed to do so, however, District Judge Brian Archer proceeded in the defendant’s absence.

The court heard that on February 28, last year, Woods punched his victim in the mouth, which eventually resulted in the loss of several teeth, including his front three.

The victim presented himself to the dentist the following day with a pain in his mouth.

A statement from that same dentist was submitted to the court, which stated that the bridge of the injured party’s mouth had been broken, and as a result, he had to be fitted with a denture.

The victim and his wife appeared in the dock, adopting their police statements as their evidence, and in the absence of any defence counsel, the prosecution questioned the victim as to why it took him three months to initially report the assault.

He told the court how he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis – a progressive lung disease that is classed as a terminal illness – and that “he wasn’t thinking about the case, that he had enough to think about”.

Woods, who has no previous record, was convicted of a single count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and is to appear in back at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court court on Wednesday, April 11.

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