Northern Ireland news

Two men jailed for brutal assault at a house party

Both men were jailed

TWO men have been jailed for a brutal assault on a man at a house party.

Paul Robinson (24), of Whitewell Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, was jailed for three years with a similar period on post custody licence after he pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and theft of an Apple mobile phone.

Ryan Nesbitt (22), of Killynure Walk, Carryduff, Co Down, pleaded guilty to wounding and was jailed for 18 months. He will spend a further 24 months on supervised licence following his release from prison.

Belfast Crown Court heard the victim was home alone at his flat in Glenbawn Avenue, Poleglas, west Belfast on December 29 2019, drinking and taking drugs. He went to another flat where a party was taking place and invited Robinson, Nesbitt and a woman back to his flat.

In the early hours of the following morning, "a large number of uninvited people'' turned up at the victim's flat who he did not know.

Prosecutor Jim Johnston said the victim asked these people to leave who then "became angry at being kicked out''. There was a confrontation and Robinson was struck to the head with a bottle, causing significant bleeding.

"Around 4.30 am, a female witness arrived at the flat and observed Robinson with a head injury. She described Robinson and Nesbitt as being 'off their faces','' said Mr Johnston.

"The victim recalls these two defendants coming towards him and he was pulled to the ground. He was repeatedly punched to the body and kicked to the head and face area by Robinson on at least one occasion. Nesbitt was also punching the injured party while he was the ground.''

The victim later reported the assault to police from his hospital bed and the defendants were arrested on December 30 2019, while asleep on sofas at the home of Robinson's mother. Robinson later claimed the victim had attacked him and Nesbitt and they acted in self defence.

Judge Patrick McGurgan said the victim of the assault suffered "severe and extensive facial and head injuries. He had bleeding around his brain, fractures to his nose and around his eye socket. He had a wound to his left cheek which required stitches".

He noted that Nesbitt had 85 convictions on his criminal record which included entries for assault on police, obstructing police, common assault, public disorder, drug offences and criminal damage.

Robinson, said the judge, has 17 convictions which included offences of riotous behaviour, assault on police, breach of court orders and theft.

"These offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate, not just to punish you, but to deter others,'' said Judge McGurgan.

"It is the experiences of this court that offences of wanton violence among young males are becoming ever more prevalent in recent years. Shocking incidents of gratuitous violence by kicking defenceless victims while they are on the ground are also common in the criminal courts.

"The offences are perpetrated when the defendants are under the influence of drink or drugs or both. Those who inflict the violence show a chilling indifference to the severity of the injuries their victim will suffer.''


Northern Ireland news