Headbutted man who had learning needs

Court
Court

A Dromore man head-butted a person who had learning difficulties leaving him with two black eyes, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Richard Beggs, Lynn Crescent, Dromore, admitted assault on a male occasioning him actual bodily harm on December 20, 2013.

He was sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay the injured party £500 in compensation.

The court heard that the injured party reported to police that he had been assaulted by Beggs at Princes Street in Dromore.

The defendant had run up and punched him from behind and he fell to the ground.

He was kicked in the ribs and then Beggs head-butted him on the ground.

The victim was left with two black eyes and injuries to his ribs.

When interviewed Beggs denied the allegation and claimed the injured party had been verbally abusive to his cousin.

The case had been adjourned for a pre-sentence report which indicated that the victim was a vulnerable person.

A barrister representing the defendant said it was ‘a disgraceful attack’ aggravated by the fact the injured party was a vulnerable person.

He handed in two character references on the defendant’s behalf, one from the local rugby club.

The lawyer explained that Beggs had been at a work night out at Christmas and had too much alcohol on board.

He had taken above and beyond what he would normally consume.

He added that the defendant was ‘contrite and apologetic’ as well as being remorseful and deeply ashamed of his actions.

Deputy District Judge Amanda Brady said it was ‘a very nasty incident’ and the type of case where the court would look at a custodial disposal.

But, she added, Beggs had pleaded guilty and had no record so she would impose community service and an alternative to custody.