Compensation order for victim of assault

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A Lurgan man was ordered last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court to pay £1,500 in compensation to a man he assaulted.

Darren Toland, Silverwood Green, Lurgan, was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, for unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on a male on March 1 last year.

A concurrent three month term, also suspended for two years, was imposed for possession of an offensive weapon, a golf club.

The court heard that at 3.20am police received a report of an assault in Silverwood Green.

The victim had suffered face, head and hand injuries and had no recollection of what happened.

Two witnesses said they saw Toland kick the injured party and strike him with the golf club while he was lying on the ground.

Toland, who had alcohol taken, said to police “I’ll knock the c—t out of yer man” and “if that lad and his friends come back they will get the same.”

He admitted being involved in a fight with the injured party but denied using the golf club. Toland had no previous convictions.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A barrister representing the defendant said there had been some discussion with the prosecution about the facts about the golf club not being used to strike the injured party but it was there as the altercation progressed.

He added that his client did not have a great recollection of events. He had been out in Belfast and consumed a large amount of alcohol.

The lawyer explained the victim was outside the house of a female friend and Toland took the foolish decision to arm himself and approach this person.

He said that the defendant was under no illusion about the strict sentencing powers available to the court. The lawyer added that the matter clearly crossed the custody threshold but asked the court to stay its hand as far as immediate custody was concerned.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said references handed in to the court spoke highly of the defendant.

He added that the offence appeared ‘remarkably out of character’ and it was extraordinary that a man with the defendant’s background could offend in this manner but the use of a weapon was an aggravating factor.

The judge said that the victim had damage to his teeth which required cosmetic surgery, bruises and small wounds which required stitches.