A 33-YEAR-OLD football coach has been sentenced to 120 hours community service after being convicted of assaulting a man outside an Enniskillen bar.
Appearing for sentencing at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday was Byron McNern of Drumbeg in Enniskillen who was charged with assaulting Noel McDonnell on 23rd April this year.
The court heard that the injured party had attended Enniskillen Police Station at 12.10am on April 24th to report an alleged assault at Magee’s Bar by McNern. Mr McDonnell alleged that he had been approached by the defendant in the bar who had asked to speak to him outside before putting his hand around the injured party’s throat. Mr McDonnell also stated that he was warned never to speak to McNern’s partner again or to “push a shopping trolley in front of her”.
The court was told that Mr McDonnell was examined by police who found no physical marks on his neck but noted that it was red.
At 1.55am that morning police on patrol observed a male matching McNern’s description at Nugents Entry. When later questioned about the incident, McNern told police that he had put his hand on the injured party’s chest and pushed him against a door.
Defence barrister Ciaran Roddy told the court that the incident had arisen out of a previous occasion when Mr McDonnell had pushed a shopping trolley in front of McNern’s partner following a past dispute between their respective partners.
Mr Roddy added: “This incident obviously caused the injured party a lot of upset however my client would say that he was provoked by a smirk from Mr McDonnell. The easiest thing would have been to walk away and this was an idle threat made by my client with no physical consequences. The defendant acted in a misguided manner and against his better judgement to protect his partner.”
The court also heard that the defendant had a limited criminal record.
Referring to the victim impact statement prepared for the case, district judge Nigel Broderick said: “The victim sustained greater emotional trauma than physical injury in what was an unprovoked and vicious assault visited upon him. The defendant should have known better than to engage in this type of behaviour.”
McNern was sentenced to 120 hours community service and fined £100. He was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation for the “physical and psychological injuries to the victim”.
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