Punched man in row over money

Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel
Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel
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During a dispute over money at a house in Banbridge a 47-year-old man punched and hit another man until he ended up on the ground.

Sean Gerard Terence Martin Darragh, St Mary’s Street, Newry, admitted common assault on November 30 last year.

He was sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £500 compensation to the injured party.

Darragh had previously also been charged with making a threat to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.

He had denied all three charges and the case was listed for a contest last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

However the prosecution offered no evidence in relation to the threat to kill and offensive weapon charges and these were dismissed. Darragh admitted common assault.

The court heard that police went to an address in Kenlis Street, Banbridge, after a report of an assault.

They saw the injured party who had a bleeding nose and he was genuinely distressed.

He said that the defendant asked him for money that was owed to him and when he said he had no money Darragh started punching and hitting him and he ended up on the ground.

When spoken to by police the defendant denied any involvement.

The two parties were known to each other.

A barrister representing the defendant said the debt was not actually owed to Darragh who was helping a third party, an acquaintance.

He added that Darragh was faced by a number of individuals.

He feared for his own safety and lashed out but accepted he could have dealt with it in another manner.

The lawyer said there had not been a history between the parties and this was an isolated incident.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, told Darragh that it appeared he had been brought in to assist in the recovery of the money but he had set about it in an alarming manner.

He added that it was a top of the range common assault and merited custody but because of the gap in the defendant’s record he would suspend the sentence.