AN Enniskillen man has narrowly avoided jail after assaulting a mother and daughter in a incident which he claimed was self-defence.
Ryan Masterson (24) of Derrin Road, Enniskillen appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm to a young woman, unlawfully assaulting her mother and using disorderly behaviour at Sycamore Drive, Enniskillen.
On September 24th 2017, Police received a call from a woman claiming that she and her daughter were being threatened. The woman then rang back claiming that the defendant was attacking them.
When the Police arrived at the scene, Masterson was shouting ‘they are out to get me’, the younger woman was bleeding, stating that the defendant had punched her, while the older woman claimed that Masterson had pushed her.
Masterson was arrested at the scene, while three women were taken to hospital and the younger woman was treated for a suspected broken nose and required stitches to her hand.
During his interview, Masterson told Police that he was set apon and acted in self-defence and denied the allegation. Masterson was also in court pleading guilty to resisting police and possessing Class B Controlled Drug, namely cannabis on a separate date, January 20th 2017. The court heard that Police were called to a flat on the Cornagrade Road where Masterson was, and he became agitated and had to be restrained. He was then found to have a small quantity of suspected cannabis in his possession.
Defence barrister Gavin Cairns told the court that this was a case where the court was dealing with a “troubled man” and the issues were agitated by the death of his brother at Christmas.
The defendant also had injuries to his upper limbs which were consistent with self-defence, but that his client accepted that his actions exceeded the parameters of self-defence.
Mr Cairns also added that his client did not premeditatedly strike out at the woman and that he will continue to engage with probation.
District Judge Peter Prenter told the court that this was a very serious set of offences, with injuries involved and what worries him is that it is more assaults.
He added that not only is there a high chance of re-offending, but that the defendant had been given a suspended sentence and the offences occurred 11 days later.
Mr Cairns added that the most serious injury sustained by the victim was a one centimetre cut to her finger which required stitches and described the injuries at the lower end of actual bodily harm.
Judge Prenter observed that the victim had a cut to the bridge of her nose and an abrasion to her forehead.
Judge Prenter added that his views was to send Masterson to jail, and then impose the suspended sentence but he said that the only thing keeping him from going to jail was the fact he is engaging with probation.
Judge Prenter told Masterson that he is going to give him one chance, and put the case back for six months so Masterson can continue to work with services and stay out of trouble, but warned that if he reoffends he will be brought back and put in jail.
Judge Prenter adjourned the case until October 10th 2018, to which Masterson replied ‘Thank you sir.’
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