Declan Aaron McCallion given suspended three-month jail sentence

Bishop St courthouse in Londonderry
Image caption District Judge Barney McElholm said it was undoubtedly a traumatic incident for the couple

A 34-year-old man has been given a suspended three-month jail sentence for a drunken and unprovoked assault on a couple in May.

Declan Aaron McCallion, from Elaghmore Park in the Galliagh area of Londonderry, pleaded guilty to physically assaulting the man.

He also has to pay £750 in compensation to the man he admitted assaulting.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting his victim's wife by putting her in fear of violence.

McCallion admitted committing disorderly behaviour and resisting a police officer during the same incident.

A prosecution solicitor told the district judge that on the night of 19 May police received reports of an assault in Academy Road.

When they arrived at the scene two men were restraining McCallion on the ground and the officers then took control.

The solicitor said the husband and wife were out for a late night walk. They saw McCallion approaching them from behind.

As he came closer to them they believed McCallion was following them, so the couple crossed the road.

McCallion crossed the road after them and as he continued to approach the couple the husband turned to him and asked why he was following him and his wife.

'Fists clenched'

The defendant continued to approach the couple and the husband used his umbrella to force a distance between himself and his wife and the defendant.

"The defendant shouted at the husband. The husband shouted to his wife to run and then threw his umbrella at the defendant", the prosecutor said.

McCallion then ran past the husband and chased after the man's wife but she managed to run into her mother-in-law's nearby home from where she telephoned the police.

"The defendant then ran back at his male victim with his fists clenched and jumped on him from behind and began to kick him on the head when the man fell to the ground," the solicitor added.

After his arrest, McCallion told the police he had been drinking excessively at a local bar.

A defence solicitor said it was a disturbing incident for the couple. He said McCallion offered his deepest and genuine apologies to them.

The district judge said these were the sort of offences that could lead to an immediate custodial sentence.

However, he took into consideration McCallion's early pleas of guilty and that his last relevant conviction was 10 years ago.

He imposed a three-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

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