Man jailed for attack on friend in drunken row

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A 21-year-old man who admitted attacking a former friend during a drunken row last January, was sentenced to a total of four years and five months yesterday.

Patrick Connors from Old Forge, Dunmurry, was captured on CCTV carrying out the unprovoked attack in Belfast city centre in the early hours of January 20.

Belfast Crown Court Judge Patricia Smyth told Connors the security video pictured him kicking his victim four times as he lay defenceless on the ground. It was “only by good fortune” added the judge, that he escaped serious injury, with only relatively minor cuts and swelling.

Connors initially claimed that he had been acting in self-defence. But Judge Smyth said by his guilty plea to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm he accepted “what you did was wrong, whatever the circumstances that caused you to carry it out”.

However, Judge Smyth later added that Connors had admitted involvement before being shown the CCTV footage attacking his former companion who was also “vulnerable through drink”.

The judge said that while Connors was considered a high likelihood of reoffending he was not considered as posing a danger to the public.

Connors, who has a significant record and had been abusing drugs – particularly ‘legal highs’ – for some time, will serve two years and two and a half months in custody, followed by an equal period on supervised licens ed parole.