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Conditional discharge for teen who carried out serious assault on male outside kebab shop

Court was told the defendant sat on the injured party as he lay on the ground and proceeded to punch him a number of times in the face

Craigavon-Courthouse

A Craigavon teenager who assaulted a male outside a kebab shop after a verbal altercation has been handed a conditional discharge.

Sentencing the 19-year-old, the district judge warned: “Be in no doubt, if the injuries were any more serious that would have taken you into a whole different realm.”

Pierce McParland, of Pinebank, appeared for sentencing on one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution outlined that on October 19, of last year, police received a report of a serious assault at a kebab shop on William Street in Lurgan.

Upon arrival officers spoke to this defendant. It was noted that he had a cut to the knuckles of his right hand and appeared under the influence of alcohol.

McParland made a comment to the police that he had just been defending himself.

The defendant was detained, whilst officers made inquiries with staff inside the kebab shop.

CCTV was viewed and this showed McParland having a verbal exchange with another male.

The defendant then pushed the male out onto William Street before punching him in the face. He then sat on the injured party as he lay on the ground and proceeded to punch him a number of times in the face.

Police later located the injured party near the Ashburn Hotel. He was noted to have extensive facial injuries.

McParland was subsequently arrested, making no reply to caution.

When interviewed, the defendant admitted to punching the injured party twice, maintaining it was self-defence, but denied hitting the male while he lay on the ground.

Defence barrister Ciara Ennis stated: “It has been accepted from the outset that this was a serious case. It is rather fortunate that there were no broken bones.

“In relation to the issue of self-defence, the defendant observed the injured party in the kebab shop with his girlfriend. They were having an argument and he intervened.”

She continued: “It would appear that his understanding of self-defence is not one of the legal definition, but he did not try to flee the scene and co-operated fully with police.

“He had just turned 18 June prior, this was October 2019. There had been nothing further and he has been on bail since. I would submit that this was a one-off isolated incident and he will not be before the court again.”

Deputy District Judge John Rea stated: “Mr McParland, the court takes assault cases very seriously and this was an assault of a higher level.

“Be in no doubt, if the injuries were anymore serious that would have taken you into a whole different realm.”

The defendant was handed a conditional discharge for two years and was ordered to pay compensation of £250 to the injured party.

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