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Man headbutted in ‘vicious drunken’ assault outside Armagh city centre bar

Court told incident happened after injured party did not give defendant's pregnant wife priority when arranging lifts

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who head-butted another man for not giving his pregnant wife priority when offering lifts home from an event has been handed community service.

Christopher McDonagh, 24, of Alexander Road, pleaded guilty to common assault at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on October 9, of last year, police were called to Trainor’s Bar, on Thomas Street, at around 1.27 am.

The injured party told officers that the defendant had head-butted him after an argument arose.

Court heard that the victim had a small bump and a red mark under his left eye.

McDonagh was arrested and taken into custody.

When interviewed, the defendant refused to answer questions but read a prepared statement in which he claimed self-defence.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated that McDonagh took “full culpability” for the offence and was open to engage in community service which had previously been a “positive influence”.

Court heard the defendant came from the travelling community  and had three children with his wife from whom he was now separated.

Mr Lunny said alcohol had been a major factor.

He stated that any chance of a self-defence contest was quashed by the defendant’s lack of memory of that night.

Mr Lunny said an argument arose after the injured party had not prioritised McDonagh’s partner, who was pregnant at the time, when offering lifts home from an event.

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “This was a vicious drunken response to a reasonable comment from an innocent individual.”

McDonagh was sentenced to 100 hours community service.

In addition, he was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation to the injured party within 12 weeks.

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