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Man punched ‘vulnerable’ man on New Year’s Day

A man who punched a “vulnerable” man leaving him with a cut lip and bleeding nose in the early hours of New Year’s Day has been fined £300.

Terry Dineen (52), of Andraid Close in Antrim town, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on May 13 and admitted an assault charge.

A prosecutor said police received a 999 call at 3am on January 1 this year about a domestic incident in Ballycastle.

The injured party said he was assaulted by his mother’s partner – the defendant.

The court heard it had been alleged that the injured party was arguing with his mother when Dineen intervened and grabbed him by the throat and punched him a number of times on the face leaving him with injuries including a cut lip.

The court heard the injured party had subsequently made a statement of withdrawal to police.

The court was told the injured party has “autism and learning difficulties”.

A defence barrister said there has been “no animosity held” by the complainant or his mother who had written letters which were given to District Judge Peter King.
The defendant – an operational manager – had made full admissions to police and was “ashamed” of his actions and “embarrassed” at being before the court.

Judge King told Dineen it was quite clear from the letters that both the complainant and his mother wanted to “move forward as a family unit” and the court heard the defendant is still in a relationship with the injured party’s mother.

The judge said he was dealing with an assault which had left a “vulnerable” man with injuries including a cut lip and a bleeding nose and “thankfully we are not dealing with more serious injuries”.

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