A judge said a Coleraine man punched a former friend because he thought he was being talked about but his court appearance means the “whole town” will be talking about him.
Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare was speaking at Coleraine Magistrates Court where Alistair Wright (23), of Willowfield Park, was fined £150 for assault.
He was also ordered to pay the victim £100 compensation.
A prosecutor said at 1.30am on Saturday May 27 last year police received a report from a man who said he and a friend were in a bar in Coleraine and he had a “run-in with an old friend”.
It was alleged that Wright had “squared up” to the man and was verbally abusive in the bar and when the victim walked home the defendant followed and “swung a couple of punches,” hitting him once on the face.
During a police interview Wright denied assault but admitted the conversation “got a bit heated” in the bar.
In court Wright pleaded guilty to assault.
Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said Wright and the injured man were formerly “very good friends” and the lawyer described the incident as “relatively minor”.
Judge O’Hare told the defendant: “It seems to me that it is clear that this was an incident that shouldn’t have occurred, because you thought somebody was talking about you”.
With the case set to be reported in the media, the judge added: “Now the whole town is going to be talking about you”.