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Defendant pushed man to ground before striking him ten times to head in serious Armagh assault

A County Armagh man who changed his assault plea to guilty has been sentenced to eight months in custody.

David Braniff, 28, of Moyraverty Centre, Craigavon appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, via videolink from Maghaberry, stood accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Conor Lunny, Braniff’s defence solicitor, also appeared, instructing that the defendant’s plea to the charge was to be changed to guilty.

While the defendant was entitled to a pre-sentence report, Mr Lunny waived that right for the case to dealt with swiftly.

The Court heard that on July 27, 2021, a fight had broken out at the Linen Court hostel in Armagh. Staff identified the defendant and the injured party through CCTV footage.

The defendant allegedly pushed the injured party to the ground and struck him ten times to the head, leaving a “deep, one-inch circular cut to the forehead that was continuously bleeding.”

Mr Lunny said: “The injured party didn’t really register interest in engaging with the authorities.”

He said that the defendant had experienced a “complex set of domestic circumstances”, however, “he knows the difference between right and wrong.”

He then added that the defendant, “takes some issue with the presentation of the facts”.

Speaking via videolink, Braniff said that there were “no punches”.

District Judge Anne Marshall said that this incident constituted “an extremely serious assault” that required an “immediate custodial sentence”.

“You do have a relevant record for violence,” she added.

Taking into account his plea of guilty at a “late stage”, she imposed a period of eight months in custody, to be served consecutively with other Crown Court matters.

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