Belfast man attacked and sat on father after beer ran out

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A man who assaulted his father for running out of beer on Christmas Eve was jailed for four months on Friday.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Darren Johnston slapped and sat on top of the victim during a drink-fuelled row.

The 36-year-old accused, of Laburnum Court in the east of the city, pleaded guilty to a single charge of assault.

A prosecution lawyer said the incident took place at a house in the early hours of Wednesday.

He told the Boxing Day session of the court that Darren Johnston became increasingly agitated during an argument between the pair.

“He blamed his father for having no more beer,” the lawyer said.

As well as slapping and sitting on the victim he also demanded money for food, the court heard.

A defence solicitor said: “It’s an extremely unfortunate set of circumstances where these two people find themselves with no-one else in their lives.”

He added that there had been a disagreement over the arrangements for Christmas dinner.

Although Darren Johnston was said to have a “substantial” criminal record, his lawyer attempted to play down the seriousness of the latest offence.

But District Judge Harry McKibbin disagreed with his assessment.

“It didn’t look to be at the lowest end of the scale,” he said.

“The circumstances were fairly disgraceful.”

With no pre-sentence report requested, Judge McKibbin ordered: “There will be four months in prison.”