An Armagh man who punched and kicked another man on the dance floor of a nightclub after the victim patted him on his head - leaving his nose deformed was given a two and a half year suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last week.
Garreth McGuinness (31) with addresses in Meigh and Barley Road, Newtownbabe, County Louth pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Brubakers, Park Street, Dundalk on December seventh 2015.
The court heard last Wednesday that the victim was dancing near the defendant, who was jumping about. When he returned, the injured party felt his body language had changed and he put his arm around him, to try to calm the situation.
However, the Defence counsel claimed in doing this, the man had brushed the top of his client’s head and Garreth McGuinness unfortunately had unlawfully reacted by punching him and knocking him to the ground.
Up to three punches were thrown and the victim was also kicked once.
The barrister also said the accused had instructed him that he perceived some danger from a glass in the victim’s hand.
The court was told the injured party’s nose was broken in three places and due to the length of the waiting list, had to have his nose re-broken and set, but that was unsuccessful and he had to undergo rhinoplasty surgery. The victim – who lost his job, due to the amount of time he had to miss, is taking civil proceedings against the accused and the owners of the nightclub. The court heard he was willing to accept €10,000 which the accused had in court to show his remorse.
Character references were handed into court by the Defence, including a parish priest and the Chairman of his Mr. McGuinness’ GAA club Killeavy. The court also heard the accused acts as a carer for his father.
Judge Michael O’Shea said the defendant’s over reaction was out of all proportion and described the victim as being very generous in accepting the money that was offered.