Northern Ireland

Man who punched two people, knocking one out, gets probation

A man who punched two residents in the face, knocking one unconscious, during a row at an apartment complex in Belfast has been given 12 months probation.

Seamus McCartan, 41, was also ordered to carry out 100 hours community service for subjecting the man and woman to a flurry of blows.

McCartan, of Jerusalem Street in the city, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday he launched the attack in the car park area of apartments located at Great Victoria Street on February 20 this year.

CCTV footage showed McCartan punching the first victim a number of times during the altercation.

“The male injured party fell back, hit his head against a wall and was knocked unconscious for a short period,” a Crown lawyer said.

When the second victim intervened she was also punched at least twice in the face.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott told the court McCartan made admissions based on the CCTV evidence.

“He had been at the apartment building with an older friend who was (verbally) abused,” Mr MacDermott added.

McCartan was also convicted of stealing six bars of chocolate and drink from a Spar in south Belfast during a separate incident on June 27.

With nearly 150 previous offences, District Judge Steven Keown described his criminal record as “horrendous”.

Instead of imposing a prison sentence, he handed McCartan the combination order of probation and community service.

Mr Keown warned him: “This is an absolute last chance alternative to custody.”