A man who punched and kicked his grandmother’s neighbour outside a wine bar has narrowly avoided an immediate jail term.
Tristan Brennan (22), from Charleville Avenue in south Belfast, was handed an 11-month sentenced, suspended for two years, after he admitted wounding his male victim.
Belfast Crown Court was told there was a "lengthy history of issues’’ between the defendant’s grandmother, who is now leaving her address, and her neighbour.
Brennan and his victim were part of separate groups drinking in the Lisburn Road’s Chelsea wine bar on April 28, 2019.
Both men left the premises after an argument broke out, with the defendant punching his victim and kicking him while he was on the ground.
The court heard Brennan left the scene but returned and was arrested by police.
The injured party needed seven stitches to his ear and claimed to be suffering ongoing difficulties as a result of the attack.
Passing sentence, Judge Neil Rafferty QC called the attack "disgraceful’’.
"I and my colleagues deal on a regular basis with the tragic situation where young men with alcohol taken engage in violence of this nature," he said.
"One punch is thrown and causes minor injury or, in many other cases, a subdural haematoma that leads to death.
"The only way to stamp those out is to impose deterrent sentences.’’
He added, however, that the defendant’s decision to return to the scene, his behaviour with police and a letter of apology he had written spoke volumes about his character.
Judge Rafferty also accepted that prior to the attack, Brennan had lived an "unblemished life".
He ordered him to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation and said he would be jailed if he committed further offences.