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Judge says violence at Lammas Fair will not be tolerated

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A man who punched a woman causing her to blackout at the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle has been jailed for four months.
A judge said a message had to be sent out that such attacks would not be tolerated at the showpiece event.

The Lammas Fair is held over two days each August on the north coast attracting crowds of over 100,000 people.

Stephen Loughran (25), of Foxes Glen in Dunmurry near Belfast, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison on Monday.

He had previously admitted charges of being disorderly at both the Quay Road in Ballycastle during the Lammas Fair and then afterwards at Coleraine’s Causeway Hospital in August last year.

He also admitted assaulting a female and three police officers and obstructing one of them.

The court heard that after the Ballycastle incident Loughran was taken to hospital and he told a police officer he would “bite” off his hand.
A defence lawyer accepted they were “atrocious” incidents but that the defendant had absolutely no memory of what happened after drinking alcohol from midday on top of prescription medication.

District Judge Peter King said the incident involving the woman was “a completely disgraceful unprovoked attack” followed by “more outrageous behaviour” at the hospital.
He said Loughran, who had 37 previous convictions, had been “loutish”.

The judge said the Lammas Fair was a “family tourist attraction” and that the court had to send out a strong message that such assaults would not be tolerated.
As well as jailing Loughran for four months he ordered him to pay £150 to the female victim.

A co-defendant – who has admitted being disorderly in Ballycastle and assaulting police officers – has yet to be sentenced.

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