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Craigavon man who punched brother twice to head given suspended jail sentence

'This is a man who is one of 13. The brother he assaulted is just a year younger than him and they have been very close all of their life'

Court lady justice

A Craigavon man with no record, who punched his brother twice to the head after an argument over the care of another sibling, has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The 62-year-old’s solicitor told court: “He accepts what he did, he accepts responsibility, he is ashamed and he has felt remorseful about it ever since.”

Maurice Johnston, of Rosmoyle, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on November 8 at 5.40pm, police were tasked to a report of a domestic incident at an address on Ennis Close in Lurgan.

Upon arrival, officers observed the injured party who was bleeding from his head. He told police that he had been assaulted by his brother, the defendant.

The injured party sustained a cut and a bump above his left eye, along with a large gash and a bump to his right temple.

The assault was said to have come about following a verbal altercation between the two parties over the care of another brother, during which the injured party alleged Johnston had punched him twice to the face.

This account was corroborated by eyewitnesses and the defendant made full admissions during interview following his arrest.

Defence solicitor Peter Murphy stated: “This is a 62-year-old man with no previous convictions. This has been an awful incident for both himself and his brother.

“This is a man who is one of 13. The brother he assaulted is just a year younger than him and they have been very close all of their life.”

The solicitor outlined how the injured party had tried to withdraw his statement of complaint just 10 days later but by this stage his client had made admissions.

Mr Murphy said: “He accepts what he did, he accepts responsibility, he is ashamed and he has felt remorseful about it ever since.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Given the serious nature of the offence, where he has no previous record and given his age, I would be looking at a community order but I don’t have that option today, which is regrettable.”

Johnston was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for a period of 12 months.

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