One punch attacker gets suspended sentence

Laganside Court in Belfast

A 33-year old man with a conviction for soccer hooliganism in England was spared jail today after he appeared in court on a one-punch assault charge.

Dale Wilkinson was handed a two-year sentence which was suspended for two years after he admitted punching another man in east Belfast last March.

The injured man sustained a fractured skull and damage to his brain after he fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious by the punch thrown by Wilkinson on March 16 last year.

Belfast Crown Court heard Wilkinson, from Pollard Road in Leicester, was so drunk that he can barely remember the incident - but accepted he carried out the unprovoked early morning assault.

Crown prosecutor Peter Magill said the one-punch attack happened outside a house in the Templemore Avenue area after the victim made a remark when seeing Wilkinson urinating in the street.

The injured man was taken to hospital where he remained for several weeks due to the seriousness of his head and brain injuries.

The court heard that at the time, Wilkinson was living with his partner in Dunmurry but has since moved back to England. It also emerged that he has a previous conviction in England for football hooliganism.

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