A bandsman in July's Orange Order march in Londonderry, who hit a 14-year-old on the head with a drumstick, has been sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £100 in compensation.
Derry Magistrates Court heard yesterday that Trevor Simpson (38) of Duncastle Park, Newbuildings, was taking part in a feeder parade on the evening of July 13 in Ferryquay Street.
He was captured on CCTV and witnessed by several PSNI officers approaching a crowd opposed to the march and striking a 14-year-old on the head with his drumstick.
He was also seen to shout and make gestures towards the crowd.
The court heard the boy had injuries consistent with being struck on the head. When interviewed Simpson claimed he was acting in self-defence.
A defence solicitor told the court that his client had approached the crowd as they had been spitting at a child taking part in the march.
He said that Simpson was ‘deeply ashamed' and produced a character reference from Assembly speaker Willie Hay on his behalf.
He described Simpson's actions as ‘reactive' and claimed that his client had not used sectarian language when he was shouting at the crowd.
The District Judge, Barney McElholm, said that it was unfortunate that people could not leave others alone to get on with their culture.
He imposed a sentence of 100 hours of community service, £100 in compensation and a conditional discharge on the other counts.