A man who left his uncle with broken jaw narrowly escaped going to jail today (Wednesday).
Although Aaron Haughey was handed a 20 month jail sentence at Craigavon Crown Court, Judge Patrick Lynch KC told the 32-year-old it was “with some hesitation” he was suspending the sentence for three years.
At an earlier hearing Haughey, a plumber from the Colane Road in Lurgan, entered a guilty plea to inflicting grievous bodily harm to his uncle Thomas Corey during a fight on December 6, 2020.
Opening the facts, prosecuting no counsel Ian Tannahill told the court how Haughey had been standing outside a Spar shop that Sunday morning when his uncle left, adding that it was accepted all round “there was bad feeling and animosity” between the men.
“There was nothing said and no interaction but the defendant broke off from the group he was chatting to and there’s then an altercation,” said the lawyer.
The court heard that in an incident captured on video, “there’s haymakers and kicks thrown as they run around the carpark” but the victim sustained a fractured cheekbone and jaw in the incident.
Thankfully, he did not need surgery and Mr Tannahill said that now, “he just wishes to get on with his life.”
Haughey was arrested and interviewed and although he accepted fighting, he said he didn’t intend to cause serious injury.
Defence counsel Aaron Thompson said Haughey accepted that “when you raise your fists you have to accept the outcome whatever that is” but that the defendant is “really worried and really concerned” about the prospect of going to jail.
He said there had been a falling out between the victim and his brother, the defendant’s father, but that Haughey “shouldn’t have got involved.”
Sentencing Haughey, Judge Lynch told him that “whatever the family difficulties are the last way of dealing with it is to resort to violence”.
In addition to the suspended jail sentence, Haughey was ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to his uncle.