Northern Ireland news

Suspended sentence for punch during soccer match

Rory Emmet Gilloway (42), of Ballyheather Road, Ballymagorry, Strabane, admitted one charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm during a soccer match in March 2018

A man has been given a suspended sentence over an assault during a soccer match which left a player with a fractured cheek.

Rory Emmet Gilloway (42), of Ballyheather Road, Ballymagorry, Strabane, admitted one charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm during the game on March 31 2018.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that local team Ballymoor were playing Sion Swifts at the city's Prehen playing fields when Gilloway, who was playing for Sion Swifts, punched the 19-year-old victim once.

The injured party admitted there had been some 'gamesmanship' during the match including shirt pulling but said nothing justified the punch.

Defence lawyer Dean Mooney said it had been "an ill tempered match with a number of incidents".

He said the defendant accepted he had struck out at the injured party.

After the match Mr Mooney said Gilloway had gone to the opposing side's dressing room to ask after the injured party.

He said Gilloway had been involved in local football for 20 years and there had never been any incidents and his client "apologised profusely".

District Judge Mark McGarrity there had been a big difference in age and build between the parties.

He sentenced Gilloway to three months' imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered him to pay £500 in compensation.

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