A former community youth worker who admitted seriously assaulting a middle-aged man he dragged out of a pub in the centre of Dundalk, was given an 18 month suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last week.
Mark Morton (36), formerly of Oakland Park, Dundalk, but now living in Ballywalter, Co Down, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm on Clanbrassil Street, Dundalk on October 14, 2018.
The victim told gardaí he had been out socialising when he was grabbed from behind and dragged out of the bar by the defendant.
His jumper was torn and Mr Morton had shouted at him over a perceived grievance which the court heard ‘had no basis whatsoever’.
Mr Morton ran at the man, who made his way towards the Market Square but slipped and fell.
When gardai arrived on the scene, they saw the victim being kicked and punched on the ground.
The man suffered cuts and bruises and in his victim impact statement — which was read to the court in his absence — he said he was scared as a result of the assault.
The unfounded insinuations made had caused him distress and he is now afraid to go out.
The court heard the defendant, a former youth worker who was working as a barman at the time of the incident, was offering €5,000 — half of which was in court — which the victim was prepared to accept.
The defence barrister said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, had no history of violence, and is extremely remorseful and accepts he was completely wrong.
Judge Patrick Quinn imposed an 18 month sentence which he suspended in its entirety subject to a number of conditions — that the balance of the money offered (€2,500) is paid to the injured party by December 1, that the defendant does not come to garda attention and that he enters a bond to be of good behaviour during that period.