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Feud between families turns physical as man punches woman in face in Burger Stop

Defence said: 'This is an embarrassing matter for a man who should have known better'

Craigavon-Courthouse

A Lurgan man who punched a female over a feud between their families has been handed a suspended sentence.

Court heard the 49-year-old, who had no record, punched the woman in a fast food outlet in the town.

Terry Lavery, 49, of Lurgan Tarry, pleaded guilty to common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on July 22, at around 11pm, the injured party had been with her niece in the Burger Stop in Lurgan when they were approached by the defendant and his wife.

Prosecution stated that there had been an ongoing court case involving the extended family of both parties.

The injured party had bumped into the defendant and his wife in a bar in Lurgan earlier but had left to avoid trouble.

She claimed the defendant had stepped aggressively towards her niece and as she intervened Lavery punched her to the left eye.

Court heard the injured party was left with swelling and bruising.

No CCTV footage of the incident was obtained.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “This is an embarrassing matter for a man who should have known better.”

He added: “There has been a long-running dispute between these two families who live very close to one another.

“There is a lot of bad feelings between them.”

Mr Lunny stated: “Mr Lavery is not proud of what he did, he is a man of impeccable character otherwise and the outcome is bleak.

“This is a serious matter in which the injured party was a female and this was a closed fist punch, he is lucky that there were not more serious injuries.”

He concluded: “The bad feelings still exist but there has been nothing since.

“They have no option now but to just get on with it.”

Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy stated: “I am anxious to make some attempt to try and ensure this does not happen again.”

Lavery was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for two years.

In addition, he was ordered to pay compensation in the form of £250 to the injured party within 16 weeks.

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