A man who alleged that comments made regarding his deceased mother and sister caused him to “explode” has been jailed for nine months for an assault in which he knocked a man’s teeth out.
Michael Connors (23), of Main Street in Dungiven, assaulted the man during a drinking session in the town on April 10 this year. When arrested he spat in a police officer’s face, a prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday. The court heard police were called to an address at Main Street in Dungiven and officers saw the intoxicated injured party coming out of a downstairs flat with bruising and swelling to his face and two front teeth missing.
The man was taken to hospital regarding a query about an eye injury. The man said Connors caused the injuries and the defendant was arrested a short distance away. During a police interview Connors said he had been drinking all day and went home to get changed before returning to the victim’s address.
The court heard Connors alleged that “adverse comments” were made towards him about his deceased mother and sister which made him “explode”. Connors claimed the injured party had thrown the first punch and missed and he had retaliated. Regarding the injured party, the defendant told police “a 13-year-old could knock him over” and that he himself trained five times a week in a gym.
Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client’s mother passed away in November last year and his sister died in March this year and Connors “took exception to some comments in relation to this”. The lawyer said there could be no excuse for the amount of violence meted out.
He said the defendant “has his demons” regarding alcohol and “other substances”. Connors appeared before court via video link from Maghaberry Jail where he has been on remand since April.
He admitted charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm; stealing a mobile phone from the man and assaulting police. District Judge Peter King jailed him for nine months saying it was a “very very nasty assault”.
He said the injured party was somebody who was never going to be able to stand up to Connors who had caused “significant damage” to the victim.