A Killylea man who assaulted a Domino’s delivery driver who attended his home has been given a suspended sentence.
Sentencing the 46-year-old, the district judge commented: “People that are working late nights in this sort of occupation are vulnerable to being abused and attacked. They are prepared to work unsociable hours to deliver food to people like yourself, who are full of drink and probably should be in bed.”
Melvyn Murray, of Fellows Hall Road, pleaded guilty to common assault at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.
Prosecution outlined that on January 6, 2019, police received a report of an assault on a Domino’s pizza delivery driver.
The injured party had made a delivery to the defendant’s address. Upon receiving payment he stated that Murray became aggressive.
The defendant pulled the injured party from his vehicle and held him in what was described as a “bear hug” before taking him to the ground.
The delivery driver shouted for Murray to get off him, but the defendant continued and attempted to headbutt the injured party.
After some time, the victim was able to get to his feet but was once more pulled down by Murray, who punched him around the head.
Upon arrival, the delivery driver showed injuries including bruising and scrapes to his left arm which were observed by police.
The defendant was arrested and gave a no comment interview whilst in custody.
Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “He has one previous relevant offence from 1996. That is a considerable period of time and it seems that after the disposal on that occasion he learned his lesson.
“He does have remorse and is deeply apologetic to the injured party,” said defence, who revealed his client is the father of five children and he would not want them to have experience such an assault.
He continued: “Some alcohol had been taken. He engaged in some high spirited way with the injured party, who quite rightly reacted in the way he did.”
Mr Lannon called on the district judge to view this offence as a “modern day aberration”.
District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “This was an appalling incident in which a man who was innocently going about his work was assaulted by you.
“People that are working late nights in this sort of occupation are vulnerable to being abused and attacked. They are prepared to work unsociable hours to deliver food to people like yourself, who are full of drink and probably should be in bed.”
Murray was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to pay compensation of £500 to the victim, along with an offender’s levy of £15.