Sean Farrelly jailed for six years over pool cue attack

A father of three who fractured a man's jaw has been jailed for six years at the Crown Court in Londonderry.

Sean Paul Farrelly, 31, from Strabane Old Road, pleaded guilty to attacking his victim in the Ritz Bar on 30 January, 2011.

The victim suffered a double fracture of his jaw, which had to be wired and four metal plates and screws inserted.

Following his release, Farrelly will be on licence for a further three years.

The judge said CCTV footage of the incident showed Farrelly had swung the cue from the victim's blindside, striking him on the jaw and knocking him unconscious onto the bar floor.

"This was an appalling incident, which has left this man, who works as an auxiliary nurse helping people in need of medical attention, still suffering from the painful injuries inflicted on him by you," the judge told Farrelly.

The judge said the victim and his partner had gone into the bar at Spencer Road in the Waterside area of the city.

Farrelly, who knew his victim, then came into the bar and spoke to the man and his partner.

'Totally unprovoked'

Farrelly later approached the victim again and referred to an age difference between him and his partner, according to the judge.

The injured party replied: "If the relationship works, it works".

The victim then went into the toilet and the next thing he remembered was waking up the next morning with a pain on the side of his face.

"This man knows of no reason why it happened. The incident was totally unprovoked," the judge said.

"His partner told him the defendant had picked up a pool cue and swung it at the victim, striking him on the right side of the jaw.

"He was knocked off his chair, fell unconscious onto the floor and the defendant ran off. You deliberately picked up a pool cue and swung it at a defenceless man from the blindside giving him no chance to defend himself", he told Farrelly.

When arrested, Farrelly told the police he was so drunk at the time he had no memory of the incident. He subsequently apologised for his actions.

The judge said that a victim impact report stated that over two years after the attack, the victim can still only eat soft food and still suffers constant pain in his jaw. He was off work for four months because of his injuries and his lifestyle has become more restricted.

"He no longer feels able to socialise in areas he used to socialise in. His relationship with his partner is now sadly over and a psychiatric report states that the unprovoked attack would continue to have consequences for the victim for many months to come", said the judge.

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