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Grandfather 'lashed out' during row at Belfast bar

A grandfather has been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence for "lashing out" with a glass at a man in an east Belfast bar.

Brian McCullough fractured the victim's finger as a row among drinkers turned violent, the city's Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

The 55-year-old, of St Leonard's Street in Belfast, admitted charges of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutors said the injured man had stepped in between two groups of men at the bar on January 18.

He was struck after putting his hand up.

Defence lawyer Richard McConkey stressed that McCullough had not started the trouble.

"This was a real aberration, he's a grandfather unlikely to come before the courts again," the barrister said.

"He wasn't the initial aggressor - there were two groups of males and when he struck out he had a glass in his hand. He just lashed out."

District Judge Amanda Henderson said that McCullough's actions "crossed the custody threshold".

She told him: "Unfortunately, as a result of this incident, no doubt fuelled by alcohol, you're going to leave here with a record for a fairly significant assault."

McCullough was handed a six-month sentence, suspended for a year. He was also ordered to pay the victim £500 in compensation.

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