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Keady man who punched woman in face in ‘random attack’ in bar avoids prison sentence

Man with 32 previous convictions and suspended sentence told he 'came so close' to being sent to jail

Armagh Courthouse

A Keady man who hit a woman in a bar in a random attack has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Court heard that after being attacked by the 26-year-old the female was left barely able to open her eye due to swelling.

Ryan Reid, 26, of Annvale Crescent, pleaded guilty to common assault at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on May 27, at around 1am, the injured party was in a pub in Tassagh when her attention was drawn to a male behind her calling out her name.

When she turned around, without warning, the man punched her in the right eye before grabbing her arm.

Others in the bar came and pulled the male away from her.

She was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where bruising was noted on the tops of her arms.

The injured party said that she woke up the next day and could barely open her eye due to swelling.

A friend of the injured party was able to identify the defendant as the male who had assaulted her.

Police organised a voluntary interview with Reid but he failed to attend.

Defence solicitor Shane O’Neill stated: “This was quite an unsavoury incident and a completely random attack.

“This is a young man with learning difficulties and issues with alcohol.”

He added: “Since this, he has engaged in exercise losing considerable weight, has engaged in some work and is now a father.

“This is out of character and his record consists predominantly of road traffic offences.”

District Judge Peter Magill stated: “This is unacceptable behaviour, this girl was going about her normal business and you, without rhyme or reason, attacked her.

“The court feels that you might go out and do this again.”

He added: “You have 32 prior convictions and are subject to a suspended sentence.

“I am not going to send you to prison today but you came so close.”

Reid was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years.

In addition, he was ordered to pay compensation of £250 to the injured party within 20 weeks.

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