A MAN who punched an 18-year-old school girl in the side of the head has been ordered to pay his victim €2,500 by way of compensation.
James McCabe (32), Cooltrim, Latton, Castleblayney, pleaded guilty to the unprovoked attack at Carrickmacross District Court.
The court heard how the injured party, a Ms Mary Hudson, was ordering at the Chinese Palace, Hall Street, Ballybay, on the 28 March of last year, when McCabe approached her and entered into a conversation.
After a brief exchange McCabe punched the girl in the side of the head, knocking her unconscious.
Ms Hudson was not known to McCabe, who was heavily intoxicated at time.
Giving evidence at court Ms Hudson, who was about to sit her A Levels in Northern Ireland, said that she was badly shaken after the attack and had not left her house for a couple of months after the attack.
The attack was also recorded on CCTV. In his defence, the court heard that the attack was out of character for the man and that he was “mortified” by his actions. McCabe, a single man who worked part-time on a farm, also received a “good hiding” directly after the incident.
McCabe apologised in court to Ms Hudson. McCabe had one other conviction for assault in 2008, as well as convictions for road traffic offences.
Judge Sean MacBride said that the behaviour of the man was outrageous and the attack was “completely unprovoked”.
Judge MacBride told Ms Hudson that she was very brave and said that he hoped that she would be able to get on with her life following this awful incident. Judge MacBride gave McCabe a six-months sentence, suspended for two years, and said that if he so much as got a parking ticket he would be heading for jail.
He also ordered McCabe to pay Ms Hudson €2,500, which he said he hoped could go toward her third level education.