Northern Ireland news

Son of Down All-Ireland winner Ross Carr cleared of causing grievous bodily harm in GAA match

Charlie Carr was today acquitted of GBH after the prosecution offered no further evidence against him

A SON of GAA All-Ireland winner Ross Carr was today cleared of causing grievous bodily harm after the prosecution offered no further evidence.

Prosecuting counsel Michael Chambers told Newry Crown Court "my instructions are to offer no further evidence" against 24-year-old Charlie Carr.

Directing the jury of eight men and four women to "quite properly" find Mr Carr "not guilty by direction", trial Judge Gordon Kerr QC told the jury "there is no evidence that you could be satisfied that he is guilty in the offence charged".

"If there's nothing further against the defendant, he can be discharged," said the judge at which point a smiling Mr Carr left the dock.

Mr Carr, from Main Street in Hilltown, Newry, had always conceded that he punched his opponent, Dr James John McLaughlin, during what was described as an "ill-tempered" derby match between Clonduff and Kilcoo GAA teams on May 25 last year, fracturing the victim's eye socket.

It was the defence case however that having allegedly been subjected to vile abuse and taunts and being punched in the back by Dr McLaughlin, that he did so in self defence, believing that he was about to be struck.

Giving evidence to the court last Thursday Dr McLaughlin, who was playing as a sweeper for Kilcoo, told the jury Mr Carr punched him in the back. Following on from that, he claimed he saw Mr Carr hit one of his team mates.

After a verbal exchange he claimed Mr Carr then punched him in the face with the blow knocking him to the ground.

Under cross-examination from defence counsel Joe Brolly however, Dr McLaughlin denied suggestions he 'specialised' in intimidating opponents.

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