Man escapes jail after admitting unprovoked Belfast assault

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A north Belfast man who punched a man and woman in a completely random and unprovoked attack has avoided being sent to jail.

Father-of-two Gary McComb, from Gainsborough Drive, admitted two counts of assault and a charge of using disorderly behaviour at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

All three charges arise from an early morning incident in the Hill Street area of Belfast, during which a man and woman were both punched in the face.

A prosecutor revealed that around 1.30am on May 19, the man and woman were walking along the street when they were approached by McComb, who asked the man “what did you say?”

Telling the court there had been “no previous altercation” between McComb and the couple, McComb initially punched the man in the mouth – then when the woman stood in front of McComb, he punched her too.

When police arrived at the scene they had to draw their batons and use CS spray.

The court heard that McComb wrote a letter of apology to the man and woman he attacked.

Defence counsel Luke Curran said the incident was “out of character”, that McComb had displayed remorse and had shown empathy for his victims. He added McComb “very much regrets this incident”.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall handed McComb a four-month prison sentence, which was suspended for 18 months, and also ordered that he pay his two victims compensation of £75 each.