Punched man in face and fractured his jaw

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After leaving a bar in Banbridge a 41-year-old Lurgan man punched another man in the face and fractured his jaw.

Simon McAtamney, Ashleigh Crescent, Lurgan, admitted unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man on September 2 last year.

He was fined £500 for the offence last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court and ordered to pay the injured party £250 in compensation.

The court heard that the injured party was socialising in Gowdy’s bar in Banbridge and at the end of the night he was walking in the car park behind the bar.

He was behind the defendant who, for no reason, turned and struck him to the right side of the face with one punch.

The victim stumbled back before confronting McAtamney because he couldn’t understand why it had happened.

He suffered a fracture to his cheek bone and there was a blood clot on his cheek.

When interviewed by police the defendant said he thought he was about to be assaulted.

A barrister representing McAtamney explained that his client had been in the pub with his wife and son and his son’s partner. There had been some verbals back and forth between his son and the injured party.

The barrister added that when McAtamney left the bar the injured party was walking behind him and his client thought he was following him. He felt threatened and that there was a risk he was going to be struck by the injured party.

He said McAtamney acted too hastily and with a few drinks in him acted injudiciously. The defendant was apologetic and remorseful and this was an out of character incident.

District Judge Eamonn King said the defendant had a record for disorderly behaviour and McAtamney admitted drink had been involved in that matter.

Judge King said the assault was totally uncalled for.