“Assaults of this nature in Carrick-on-Shannon or elsewhere are going to stop,” said Judge Kevin P Kilrane when addressing Christopher Underwood at a sitting of Carrick -on-Shannon District Court last week.
Insp Frank Finn gave summary evidence against Mr Underwood, Rathmadder, Gurteen, Co Sligo stating that shortly after midnight on December 17, 2018 Peter Lavin was headbutted by the defendant. Insp Finn described it as an “unprovoked assault” adding: “Mr Lavin claimed he was abused.”
An impact statement given by the injured party, Peter Lavin, was read by Insp Finn, in which he said he suffered a broken nose and headaches for a few days after the event but suffered no lasting effects.
Addressing the court, Mr Underwood recalled the events of the night in question saying his partner was at the bar getting a drink when she was approached by the injured party who asked her if she was still with Mr Underwood and she answered 'yes'.
Mr Underwood said Mr Lavin followed his girlfriend back to their table in Dunnes Bar, Main St, Carrick-on-Shannon on December 17, 2017 adding: “I saw him sniggering at me and I saw red.”
Mr Underwood said he apologised to the injured party the following day with Insp Finn acknowledging: “It seems to be out of character.”
Having heard the evidence Judge Kilrane ruled he wanted the injured party to be re-interviewed to ensure his version of events matched what was said by Mr Underwood.
“I want Mr Lavin to be re-interviewed whether by phone or otherwise and put the allegations of provocation to him. Assaults of this nature in Carrick-on-Shannon or elsewhere are going to be stopped.”
Mr Underwood was initially remanded in custody to appear in Sligo last Wednesday with Judge Kilrane remarking: “If Mr Lavin was to read a version in the press that is untrue he would be very unhappy and rightfully unhappy.”
However, contact was made with Mr Lavin on Tuesday afternoon and he verified Mr Underwood’s version of events to gardaí.
Judge Kilrane convicted Mr Underwood of assault and fined him €300.