Larne teenager who punched 83-year-old was ‘off his head’ on drugs, court hears

An 83-year-old pensioner who had gone to a shop to buy milk was kicked in the stomach and punched in the head in a sudden attack by an 18-year-old who was “off his head” on drugs.

Sunday, 10th March 2019, 6:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 7:40 pm
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The pensioner had just left a Spar at Linn Road in Larne on the evening of December 11 last year, when he noticed a youth nearby who was “talking to himself”.

It was Odhran Loughlin (18), of Ballymullock Road near Larne, and he suddenly attacked the pensioner.

He was swearing as he kicked the victim in the stomach and struck him in the face.

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The pensioner received a cut near his ear and also suffered tenderness in his stomach.

Loughlin appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to a charge of assault.

A prosecutor said that when interviewed Loughlin said he taken a number of drugs and had been “off his head” and couldn’t remember what happened.

Loughlin said the old man was unknown to him and “happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said it was an “abhorrent”, unprovoked attack on an elderly man.

He said Loughlin had taken a “mixture of prescription drugs” and afterwards was remorseful about what he did.

The defence lawyer said the defendant was “absolutely appalled” when informed of what happened.

Mr Moore said there were “underlying anger management issues” which Loughlin needed to address and, on the date in question when that mixed with prescription drugs, it was a “perfect storm” and resulted on an attack on a “poor hapless gentleman minding his own business”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was an “appalling” incident. He said senior citizens deserved the “utmost protection” and the victim did not in any way deserve the assault visited upon him by Loughlin. However, the judge noted the defendant had shown remorse and had a clear insight into the distress he caused the the pensioner.

Judge Broderick said Loughlin had lived with his grandfather and thought he should have known to “respect your elders”.

The judge said jailing the defendant would not address Loughlin’s underlying issues and in a bid to prevent further offences he put him on probation for a year.

He also ordered him to do 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £200 compensation to the victim.