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Suspended jail term for man who kicked another male to the head as he sat on a kerb

The district judge told him 'no provocation can excuse' his actions

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Portadown man who kicked another male to the head whilst he sat on a kerb has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Court heard the 23-year-old did this after he alleged the injured party had been involved in an altercation with his younger brother earlier in the evening.

James Ballard, of Jervis Street, pleaded guilty to common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that on October 7, at 2.10 am, police were called to a disturbance outside an address on Jervis Street, Portadown.

When they arrived, officers observed the defendant run at a male who was sitting on a kerb before kicking him in the head. This was all caught on body cam.

Ballard was subsequently restrained and arrested by police.

When interviewed, the defendant admitted to being in an altercation with the same male earlier that evening and accepted that he had kicked the injured party in front of police.

Defence solicitor Joseph McDonald stated: “This is a man with a clear record. There is a background to this offence. He had been out drinking and left the bar to get a kebab.

“He then witnessed his younger brother get into a fight with a number of males including the injured party, however, at this point, he did the right thing and took his brother home to their mother’s house.”

He continued: “Mr Ballard then went to his sister’s, with friends to eat his kebab. He then received a call to say that these males had gone to his mother’s house.

“He chased them away but saw the injured party sitting down and ran at him. It was a moment of madness, he was annoyed they had hurt his brother and he deeply regrets the incident.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “This is a difficult sentencing exercise. You are given credit for your lack of record and early plea but given the circumstances, I have no option.

“To walk up to another human being that is seated and lift your foot to kick them in the face is a very serious action. No provocation can excuse it.”

She added: “Your brother is alleged to have been pulled away from a woman by this injured party.”

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

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