Thug who stabbed man in head ‘on legal highs’


Enniskillen Magistrates Court

A 26-year-old Fermanagh man has been jailed for four years, for stabbing a man in the head.
26-year-old Jason Spence, Main Street, Ballinamallard, was jailed for four years, with two years in custody and two years out on licence before Judge Stephen Fowler at Dungannon Crown Court.
The defendant pleaded guilty to wounding Timothy Price with intent to do grievous bodily harm on September 28, 2013, at the Crown Court.
In reviewing the case before sentencing Judge Stephen Fowler said that police got a call about a man being stabbed in the head in William Street in Cookstown.
They found Timothy Price bleeding heavily from a head wound.
A number of young women had been driving around the town and made statements and one of them stayed with Mr Price in the ambulance when he was being brought to hospital.
The judge commended the young women for their public spiritedness.
The victim had ten stiches in his head in an “unprovoked attack”.
While there were a number of groups in the town, there was no previous connection between the defendant and the victim.
The defendant said he had been unwell at the time of the incident and was using alcohol and legal highs. He said he “thought he was going to be assaulted”.
Judge Fowler said an aggravating factor was bringing a knife and using it but that he had only one previous conviction for assault and was a man who did “not resort frequently to violence”.
The defendant had expressed clear remorse and regret in the pre sentence reports. And while there was a high likelihood that he would engage in further offending, medical reports showed that he could not be categorized as dangerous.
The defendant had a long history of mental health difficulties that were well articulated in the medical reports. It was clear that he had attended his GP both before and after this incident.
He had been in care in his youth and had been in contact with the law from an early age.
In addition to the sentence, the judge ordered the defendant to attend for psychiatric treatment for drug and alcohol misuse when he was released on licence.

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