Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Man convicted of ‘glassing’ victim

A man has been remanded in custody after a jury convicted him of ‘glassing' a man in the face outside a city centre hotel.

The Belfast Crown Court jury of seven men and five women yesterday deliberated for just over four and a half hours before convicting 42-year-old Mark Robert Long of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm by a majority verdict of 10 to two.

Long's victim, David Fitzsimmons, was not in court to hear the jury foreman announce the guilty verdict but arrived just as the jury were leaving the court, smiling at them and giving them thumbs up.

Long, from Coolfin Street in Belfast, appeared to show little emotion at the verdict but had prepared for it as he had a hold-all bag with him to take to jail.

During the 10-day hearing the jury heard how Mr Fitzsimmons had been socialising at Benedict's Hotel on Belfast's Bradbury Place on October 8 2006.

Giving evidence to the court, Mr Fitzsimmons recounted how he had been talking to a girl as he got his coat at the reception desk when a man came up to him and said “f*** you, get the f*** out”.

As he left the hotel, Long elbowed him in the face and a few minutes later, as he stood outside the foyer, Long rammed a glass into his face, leaving him with an elleptical shaped laceration and a scar still visible on his left cheek.

Following the verdict defence QC Frank O'Donoghue asked for sentencing to be adjourned and applied to trial Judge Tom Burgess for Long to be released on bail, which was refused.

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