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Markethill man who assaulted 70-year-old at Gosford Castle gets suspended sentence

The deputy district judge said: 'It would appear that the amount of alcohol you had on that day caused you to act out of character'

A Markethill man who assaulted a 70-year-old in his own home has been sentenced to two months in prison suspended for 18 months.

Sentencing the 48-year-old, the deputy district judge commented: “You have done nothing like this in the past. It would appear that the amount of alcohol you had on that day caused you to act out of character.”

John Patrick Carolan, of Gosford Castle, appeared for sentencing on two counts of common assault and resisting police at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on November 30, at 12.15pm, police received a report of an assault occurring at Gosford Castle, Markethill.

The reporting person claimed that this defendant, who appeared intoxicated, had punched the injured party with the incident being recorded on mobile phone.

Carolan also attended the home of the same injured party and after an argument slapped him in the face.

The injured party left the property but was brought to the ground. He was left with a cut to his right arm.

The defendant was subsequently arrested, and whilst being conveyed to Banbridge Custody Suite became aggressive with police and had to be restrained.

After being given time to sober up, during an interview Carolan denied all of the allegations.

Defence solicitor Brendan Hagan stated his client had “nothing of a similar before”, with only one previous conviction for driving with excess alcohol.

He outlined that the defendant had moved to rented property at Gosford Castle after becoming estranged from his wife.

The solicitor stated: “The injured party also resides at that complex. While they were known to each other from living close, they were not close friends.”

Mr Hagan said that this started over “financial difficulties” between the injured party and another person, which Carolan “unfortunately” took into his own hands.

He added that the defendant could “not recall” the incident and had “no possible challenge” to what was said by police and the independent witness.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “This started after you got involved in something that was none of your business. You entered a man’s property and were aggressive towards him.

“You have done nothing like this in the past. It would appear that the amount of alcohol you had on that day caused you to act out of character.”

Carolan was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for 18 months.

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