Northern Ireland

Man jailed for smashing beer bottle in victim's face

A Co Armagh man who smashed a beer bottle in the face of another man at a house party in Belfast has been jailed.

Sean McCay was handed a five-year sentence at Belfast Crown Court on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The 26-year old, from Windmill Avenue in Armagh, was told by Judge Donna McColgan KC that he will spend the next two-and-a-half years in prison followed by the same period on licence when he is released from custody.

The charge relates to an incident which occurred at a house party in the Stranmillis area of Belfast in November 2021.

Both McCay and the injured party - who didn't know each other apart from a brief encounter several years earlier - attended the party, and in the early hours of November 27, McCay launched an unprovoked attack on the other men with a beer bottle.

McCay struck the bottle in the injured party's face with such force that it smashed and caused what the Judge described as a "very significant" eye injury which required emergency surgery.

Judge McColgan said: "There appears to be no reason or motivation behind the attack other than the defendant's consumption of drink and drugs, including cocaine."

A medical report indicated it is likely the eye injury will result in long-term visual impairment, and the Judge said that after reading an Victim Impact Report it was clear the incident has caused "major changes" to the injured party's life.

Now 24, he set out in a statement the impact the incident has had on his life - including having to change jobs.

McCay - who claims he had very limited memory of the evening - has no previous convictions. He has also expressed his regret for his behaviour and the injuries he caused.