Jail warning for Cookstown man after car door slammed against battered victim

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A violent and ‘brutal’ attack outside an Ardboe bar in which a car door was slammed upon the battered victim has led to a suspended jail sentence for a Cookstown man.

Dermot Coney, 50, from Ardean Close, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

The victim, a cousin of the accused, was set upon outside Forbes’ Bar on April 27 last year, the court was told.

Police were alerted to the attack after the victim attended Cookstown police station where he needed medical attention for an injured ear and ribs.

CCTV footage obtained from the bar showed the defendant’s car following the vehicle of his victim into the car park.

Coney was captured dragging the injured party from his car. He then repeatedly punched and kicked him and slammed the car door on him.

The defence solicitor said the two men were cousins and lived in the same locality. They have met each other while driving in the interim, and nothing untoward has happened between the pair.

He explained that Coney, a father of six, knew he had done wrong and this was his first time before the courts. The incident was extremely out of character, he added. Due to spinal problems, he was unsuitable for a community service order.

At the last hearing of the case at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court, the defendant had pleaded guilty to the charge of common assault, and District Judge John Meehan had ordered pre-sentence reports to be made on Coney, before deciding on the sentence.

Judge Meehan branded the attack as ‘brutal’, which left the victim with serious injuries. He accused Coney of showing no remorse and reminded him that his victim was a ‘real person’.

However, because Coney had an existing medical condition, and had a clear record, the judge decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Judge Meehan gave him a three month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

He warned Coney that should he offend again, he would be brought back to the courts and sent to jail.

The judge also ordered him to pay £500 to the victim.