Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Jail for man who left OAP blind in one eye

A man who smashed a bottle into a pensioner's face, blinding him in one eye, has been jailed for seven years after a judge deemed him to be a “serious risk to the public”.

Jailing 20-year-old Hugh McCabe at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Piers Grant told him that the injuries sustained by Hugh Smyth were “all attributable to the reckless, violent aggression on your part on this day”.

Speaking outside the court Mr Smyth, who is in his 60s and wears a patch over his left eye, said the jail term was not enough.

“I think he should've got about 12. I'm an old man, he is a dangerous man,” said Mr Smyth adding: “He will end up killing someone.”

At the end of his trial last month McCabe, of no fixed address, was convicted of causing Mr Smyth grievous bodily harm with intent on November 21, 2008.

During the trial the jury heard how McCabe and his girlfriend, who is Mr Smyth's grand-daughter, were drinking in the pensioner's flat when McCabe became abusive towards her.

Mr Smyth told him to leave but before he did, McCabe went to the kitchen and lifted a large knife. The jury heard that when he went outside, he rapped on the window calling for his girlfriend to come out, continuing to hurl abuse at those inside.

When Mr Smyth went out to remonstrate with him, McCabe first attacked him with the knife and when that was taken from him, he smashed a litre bottle of alcopops

into his face, causing a “substantial laceration” to his left eye.

McCabe claimed he had acted in self-defence but yesterday Judge Grant told him he was satisfied that “you were at all times the aggressor and that this was a vicious attack borne out of uncontrolled anger and aggression simply because an old man objected to your objectionable behaviour”.

The judge said that given the content of the reports which revealed McCabe's “procriminal attitudes,” associations with other criminals and his criminal record with a total of 43 convictions, he was satisfied that he did pose a risk of serious harm.

“These reports offer little hope of improvement in your conduct,” Judge Grant said.