Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Barrister spared jail over assault

Barrister Michael Waters was given a suspended three-year jail sentence for headbutting a creche manager

A qualified barrister who head-butted a creche manager and broke her nose has been given a suspended three-year jail sentence.

Michael Waters, 41, of Ava Avenue, Belfast, was found guilty earlier this year of assaulting the woman and causing her harm on January 4 2012.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Patricia Ryan said Waters, who is disabled and suffers from a progressive muscle-wasting condition, must not make any contact with the injured party or any member of staff at her creche in south Dublin for 15 years.

The jail sentence was suspended for three years. He was also ordered to pay a bond of 150 euro to the court.

Judge Ryan said she was taking into consideration the severity of the violent crime, which caused the injured party to require surgery on her nose and suffer ongoing anxiety as well as economic loss to her business.

But she added that mitigating factors included Waters' previous good character, his disability and his remorse for carrying out the assault.

The court heard that Waters is a non-practising barrister who teaches law part-time in Belfast, where he also coaches children in chess.

Waters carried out the assault during a struggle with the creche manager and was convicted in July.

A victim impact statement was handed to Judge Ryan but not read out in court.

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