A violent thug who attacked a gay man in the toilets of a gay bar after his friend called him a "queer b******" has been jailed for two years.
Although 27-year-old Kenneth McIntyre was ordered to serve a year in custody at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that as a dangerous offender who posed a risk of serious harm to the public, he was ordering him to spend a further three years on supervised licence in an effort to protect the public.
Earlier he had heard that on St. Valentine's Day 2009, McIntyre and another man not before the court had been drinking in Mynt nightclub in the city centre when they went to the toilet.
Prosecuting lawyer Robin Steer said their victim Mark Saunders had been in the cubicle when he overheard them talking about gay men and when he challenged them about it, McIntyre's friend "are you another gay b******" before the pair came at him.
Mr Saunders, who is himself homosexual, cannot remember what happened the lawyer told the court but as a result of either a blow or a push, two teeth were knocked out, two teeth were fractured and he fell to the ground, cutting the back of his head with the gash needing seven staples.
Having identified the two males to doorstaff, bouncers told McIntyre and his friend to stay, but having tried unsuccessfully to run out the back door, they bolted for the front door but ran into police.
Mr Steer said it was not possible to ascertain exactly how Mr Saunders came to be felled or which man had made homophobic comments while he was in the cubicle but he revealed that McIntyre had numerous entries on his criminal record including offences of violence leading the probation service to assess him as dangerous.
McIntyre, originally from east Belfast but now with an address at Rickamore Road Upper in Ballyclare, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Saunders.
Defence lawyer Dennis Boyd said McIntyre accepted pushing the victim but that there was "no evidence to satisfy the court that he had been involved any more extensively than that".
In jailing McIntyre, Judge Kerr revealed he had only been released from prison for a previous violent offence just five days before the incident, commenting that he had "an appalling record".