A nephew of road race legends Robert and Joey Dunlop has been fined for assault.
Samuel Dunlop (24), a steel erector of Glenlough Road, Ballymoney, appeared before North Antrim Magistrate’s Court in Coleraine yesterday.
Dunlop, who was present in court, pleaded guilty to one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following an incident at a bar last September.
While the identity of the premises was not disclosed in court, it is understood the premises is Joey's Bar, named after and formely owned by Joey Dunlop and now managed by his widow Linda.
Samuel Dunlop is also a motorcycle road racer and his father Jim is the only surviving member of the formidable Armoy Armada which also consisted of Joey, Frank Kennedy and Mervyn Robinson.
He returned to the province on Friday morning having competed at the Southern 100 races currently being held at the Isle of Man.
A prosecutor told the court the injured party, Stefan Duncan, had been talking to a girl in the bar when her boyfriend, Mr Dunlop, appeared and grabbed him by his shirt.
Mr Duncan punched him on the face and shoved him back, she said.
The accused then hit Mr Duncan on the side of the eye, head-butted and punched him, said the prosecutor.
Mr Duncan was said to have sustained a black eye as a result of the incident and required stitches to a wound.
A defence lawyer said an earlier disagreement had occurred that evening during which another party had spat into Mr Dunlop's drink.
He had observed Mr Duncan in the same person's company and when Mr Duncan approached him a short time later he thought he was "in for round two", according to defence counsel.
The accused asked Mr Duncan to leave though he remained at the couple's side, she said.
Sensing further trouble, Mr Dunlop grabbed hold of his t-shirt and as a result received a blow to the head, she said.
The defence lawyer said her client was not claiming self-defence as he accepted he had reacted "more enthusiastically than he should have" to the situation.
Referring to the deaths of Mr Dunlop's uncles Robert and Joey, she added: "This family has gone through more than their fair share of sadness and tragedy."
She said members of the Dunlop family regularly attracted attention when socialising — both welcome and unwelcome.
"He made a misjudgment," she said.
A character reference was given to District Judge Richard Wilson which had been penned by Ballymoney Independent councillor and close family friend Bill Kennedy.
District Judge Wilson imposed a fine of £250 and ordered Mr Dunlop to pay £150 compensation to the injured party.
"Very stupid Dunlop wasn't it?," he added.
"Don't do it again."