A Craigavon student who slashed the ear of another man with a knife during a street brawl has been spared jail.
Cameron Le Fouler, of Lakelands, appeared before Craigavon Crown Court on Friday morning on a single count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
His Honour Judge Patrick Lynch KC, in his sentencing remarks, told the court that a fight had arisen on December 30, 2021 for a reason that remains “obscured”.
The 20-year-old armed himself with a knife and went out to confront his victim.
The victim had spotted the knife but invited the defendant to have “a fair fight” and, when that “wasn’t developing to Mr Le Fouler’s satisfaction, he did in fact produce a knife and swiped at the victim in this case”.
“Fortunately, the injuries sustained were minor and by virtue of what seems, when the defendant was withdrawing from the initial attack, cutting the injured party across the face.”
The judge added: “It is a common experience of this court that the use of a knife, even if there is no intention to cause very serious harm, quite often so does, indeed in some situations, causes death.”
He referenced to the pre-sentence reports and said the offence “seems rather out of character in general terms for the defendant”.
The judge alluded to Le Fouler’s “genuine remorse” and that “one would like to think this was a salutary lesson that one cannot simply go around attacking people, and that if you go armed with a knife, that a sentence of imprisonment is inevitable”.
However, Le Fouler – “a student with what we’d like to think a good future ahead of him” – was handed a 12 month prison sentence suspended for three years, but warned any appearance in court in those next three years will result in that prison term being served.