A Portadown teenager, with no previous record, who kicked a male whilst he lay on the ground in a group attack has been handed 80 hours of community service.
The district judge told the 19-year-old: “Whatever state of intoxication you were in, that’s the level of violence that you are capable of. It is one of the most cowardly acts a human being can do, kicking someone who is lying on the ground.”
Jake Hill, of Deramore Drive, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
It was heard that at 2am on February 4, of last year, CCTV operators reported a disturbance on the Carrickblacker Road in Portadown.
Police attended the scene to find a male lying on the road injured.
The operators stated that three males and a female had been seen punching, pushing and kicking the injured party.
They then dragged the male to throwing him in the middle of the road before kicking him whilst he lay there.
Another male had approached the group and attempted to break up the assault.
The defendant, who was found nearby, was identified as one of the three males involved in the attack, but the others had made off on foot.
Hill was subsequently arrested. When cautioned he told police he had kicked the injured party whilst he was on the ground but claimed he had been headbutted by this person first.
During interview, he claimed he had kicked the injured party no more than two or three times and continued to allege that this was only after he himself had been headbutted.
Court heard the injured party had a broken nose along with bruising to his face legs and arms.
He also had to be taken to Craigavon Area Hospital for a CT scan after losing consciousness.
Defence solicitor Richard Montieth stated: “He was a mixture of confused, drunk and wrong, he probably got the headbutt from the man who came to break up the incident.”
He continued: “He is almost 20, in the 16 months since he has maintained his otherwise clear record, he has an excellent work record and appreciates any assault which occurred as described puts him at risk of a custodial sentence.
“I believed he should be given credit for; A, his early plea, B, his previous record, C, the references from his employers and D, a helpful pre-sentence report.”
Mr Montieth added: “Mr Hill is deeply ashamed by this incident and trust me when I say you will not see him again before this court.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Mr Hill, this was a despicable act on a man a wee bit older than yourself, to kick someone while they are lying on the ground is an act of extreme violence.
“Whatever state of intoxication you were in, that’s the level of violence that you are capable of. It is one of the most cowardly acts a human being can do, kicking someone who is lying on the ground.”
She added: “The starting point in a case for sentencing is custody, be that suspended or immediate.
“However, Mr Montieth is right you are due credit for your early plea and your previously clear record. The references from employers also point to someone of a previously good character.”
Hill was sentenced to complete an enhanced combination order consisting of 12 months probation and 80 hours of community service.
In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay the injured party £500 as a way of compensation within 12 weeks.