Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Man broke his pal’s leg twice during fight over prank text, court told

A man’s leg was stamped on and broken twice when violence flared in Londonderry over prank text messages, the High Court has heard.

The victim also needed stitches after his nose was apparently bitten during the row over sexually-themed comments sent by a friend.

Lawyers for Declan Jennings, (29) who is accused of grievous bodily harm with intent, claimed the texts had been a joke response to the injured man boasting about relationships with women.

It was also alleged during a bail application that an attempt was made to gouge out Jennings’ eyes during the fight that broke out early last week.

Prosecuting counsel Philip Henry told the court that an ambulance was called to an address in Londonderry early on December 22 to take the alleged victim to hospital.

His leg had been fractured around the ankle and below the knee. Nose injuries and grazes were also found.

Mr Henry said the complainant told police that he had received texts, called the number back and asked the accused to stop sending them.

It was claimed that during a subsequent encounter Jennings ran at him, bit him and then stamped on his leg.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court Jennings, of Canterbury Park, Derry, and the injured man had been friends for some time.

Mr Devlin claimed: “The injured party had been boasting about several relationships he had been in with various women.

“As a result of that, as a joke, the applicant sent several text messages, jovial messages like ‘hello sexy’.”

The barrister said it was accepted that the confrontation between the pair had been violent.

“It wasn’t a scuffle. Whilst they were on the ground the injured party effectively attempted to gouge his (Jennings’) eyes out.”

The accused, who is contesting the charge against him, also lost a front tooth during the incident, the court heard.

After hearing both sides Lord Justice Coghlin adjourned the application due to issues over a possible bail address.

He added: “This was an extremely violent incident. Biting is something that is abhorrent and repulsive to most people... and double fractures of the leg do not happen easily accidentally.”

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