Coalisland assault victim hit with crowbar had his spleen removed

The incident happened at Mourne Crescent, Coalisland
The incident happened at Mourne Crescent, Coalisland

A young man, who was attacked in the middle of Coalisland, had his spleen removed after he was struck with a crowbar, a court heard.

The court was told that Jamie Michael Reynolds suffered multiple injuries and would be on medication for life after Martin Patrick Day, The Shannon Clinic, Knockbracken Park, Saintfield Road, Belfast struck him in the side with a crowbar on March 30 last year.

The 27 year-old defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm to Jamie Michael Reynolds with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.

The incident happened at Mourne Crescent, Coalisland on the date in question.

In sentencing Day, Judge Paul Ramsey said Jamie Michael Reynolds was walking at Mourne Crescent Coalisland with a few friends when a man came at them with a crowbar.

The man shouted “Hey you” before hitting Jamie Reynolds in the side.

The man then fled the scene.

Jamie Reynolds was taken by ambulance to hospital where he had his spleen removed later that night.

The court was told the maximum penalty for such an offence after a contest was five to nine years in prison.

The court heard that there was a Probation Report, a victim impact statement and two reports from Day’s psychiatrist Dr East.

Judge Paul Ramsey said this case was in the middle spectrum as the defendant’s mental disability meant that his culpability was low.

The judge noted that a victim impact statement stated the injured party was not able to go to the gym, was self conscious about a scar, his confidence was low and he was depressed.

Judge Ramsey said Dr East had been dealing with the defendant for the past six years.

The doctor recommended a community- based verdict where the defendant could be monitored under psychiatric care in hospital.

The doctor added that he was very concerned that the defendant did not come back to the Dungannon or East Tyrone area.

There was no tendency towards violence when Day was in hospital the court heard.

Judge Ramsey said Dr East believed that a return to prison would be “toxic” and he could return to criminality.

Prison could be the trigger for a relapse, the court heard.

The court heard that going back to jail for the defendant could be catastrophic and he was much better off in the custody of a hospital.

The defendant’s mental illness would remain in remission in a hospital, the court was told.

The court was told the defendant had been offered a place in the Praxis Centre in Portadown.

Judge Ramsey said this case had caused him a lot of anxiety because the injuries to the victim were very serious and it carried a jail sentence.

The judge said he was thinking of a sentence of eighteen and a half months with the remaining three years on licence.

But Dr East’s reports showed that even a few months in jail could be too much of a risk.

The judge said the defendant was in a controlled environment in a hospital where he would be monitored and this was the best- equipped solution for protecting the public.

Judge Ramsey sentenced the defendant to a three year Community Order.

The defendant must engage with the medical services and he will remain in hospital until such time as there is a place for him in Praxis, the court heard.