Suspended sentence for punching boy (13)

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A 24-year-old man who punched a teenage boy, knocking him unconscious, was given a suspended prison sentence last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

Stephen Anthony McEvoy, Thomas Street, Bessbrook, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on May 14 last year. He was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

The court heard that around 7pm the defendant came out of a pub in Gilford and the injured party, a 13-year-old boy, and two of his friends were sitting on a summer seat.

They engaged in conversation and McEvoy began acting aggressively before punching the injured party to the head, knocking him to the ground. The boy was temporarily unconscious. He suffered partial concussion, swelling and redness.

Police identified the defendant as the person responsible but when McEvoy was interviewed he denied assaulting the injured party.

Sentencing in the case had been deferred since September 29 last year and since then there had been only one entry on the defendant’s record for criminal damage to an electric tag belonging to G4S.

A solicitor representing McEvoy said this was a particularly nasty incident and at the time his client was abusing both drugs and alcohol. He added that the defendant, was a remand prisoner at present.

Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers said this was a ‘completely appalling incident’.

She added that while the young person did not sustain serious injuries, from his statement he said it affected his confidence going out at night and he had to attend with his doctor on a number of occasions.

The judge said the defendant had received a number of immediate custody sentences and had a record which covered all sorts of criminality.

Imposing the suspended sentence she said it was in the hope that McEvoy stayed out of trouble but if he didn’t the court would come down hard on him.