Nightclub assault victim required major dental work, court told

A former South Derry man who punched another man on the left side of the face resulting in him having major dental work carried out, was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday (August 10).

Robert McClay (33) with an address at Vicarage Road, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, at a Magherafelt nightclub on November 21 last.

McClay also admitted charges of common assault of a doorman and disorderly behaviour in licensed premises on the same date.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan also ordered McClay to pay £865 compensation to the injured party in respect of the dental treatment

Magherafelt Magistrates Court sits at Bishop Street courthouse in Derry / Londonderry.

Ms Mullan told the defendant that he should be “thoroughly ashamed”.

She said it had been a serious assault and the injured party had also to undergo many painful procedures as a result.

The judge said it appeared to have been a motiveless attack that may have been due to the defendant having had too much alcohol.

Imposing the jail sentence, which she suspended for two years, she said she took into account the defendant’s good character and clear criminal clear.

Prosecuting counsel said at approximately 12.45am, a police patrol was travelling along Queen Street in Magherafelt when they were flagged down by door staff at a nightclub and informed of “aggressive behaviour” at the back of the premises.

Counsel said police proceeded to Rainey Street carpark and on arrival saw McClay running towards the back of the nightclub and pushing open a gate.

She said he threw “numerous punches” at the injured party before being restrained by police and door security staff.

Continuing, the lawyer said he was arrested and taken to Antrim custody suite, where he told police during interview that he had been angry about what had happened to members of his family at the premises on a previous occasion.

Counsel added that the injured party had to have substantial dental repairs carried out totalling £865 which he had to pay for himself.

The charge relating to the door man was connected to the defendant pushing the gate, the court heard.

McClay had intended to contest the charges but his defence lawyer Liam McStay said he “now accepts his cupability”. Mr McStay said the defendant is originally from the local area but was now living and working in construction in England.

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“The defendant had been angry at what had happened to members of his family and had “reacted to a circumstance which presented itself on this occasion”, he added.