| 7.1°C Belfast

Lurgan drug addict who battered two men with a hammer jailed for 12 months

Close

A Lurgan man who hit two people on the head with a hammer while under the influence of drugs was handed a 12-month sentence yesterday

A Lurgan man who hit two people on the head with a hammer while under the influence of drugs was handed a 12-month sentence yesterday

A Lurgan man who hit two people on the head with a hammer while under the influence of drugs was handed a 12-month sentence yesterday

A Lurgan man who hit two people on the head with a hammer while under the influence of drugs was handed a 12-month sentence yesterday.

Perry Matthew John McAtamney (34) was told he will spend six months in prison followed by six months on licence after he admitted the early-morning incidents.

Belfast Crown Court heard one of the injured men had just left a Belfast nightclub and was walking along Donegall Place at around 3am on July 2, 2018 when he was approached by two males.

The pair said their friend had just been hit on the head with a hammer, and when the other male looked down the street he saw a man with blood on his face and a second male - who the Crown say was McAtamney - further down the street.

A verbal altercation erupted and McAtamney, from Maple Court in Lurgan, left the scene on foot towards Castle Lane.

He was chased by the other male, who followed him into Castle Arcade.

This male then tried to take the hammer off McAtamney, but instead of disarming McAtamney he sustained several blows to the head after he was struck with it.

A prosecutor said this injured man sustained a cut to his head as well as swelling and bruising, whilst the first man attacked by McAtamney sustained a minor injury.

McAtamney then left Castle Arcade and was picked up and followed on police CCTV.

A constable and police dog responded and encountered McAtamney close to Rosemary Street.

The constable got out of his vehicle and told McAtamney to stop or the dog would be deployed.

The prosecutor said: "At this point McAtamney saw sense and put the hammer down."

The prosecutor said that as this was taking place the injured man who tried to take the hammer off McAtamney arrived at the scene, saw McAtamney and began acting in such an aggressive way that the constable was concerned for McAtamney's safety.

The constable had to place himself between McAtamney and the injured man, and had to use CS spray. Other officers arrived, and McAtamney was arrested.

During his interview he didn't answer any police questions.

Defence barrister Martin Morgan pointed out that both men struck by his client did not co-operate with the prosecution and said they didn't want to come to court.

Mr Morgan also spoke of his client's drug misuse, and spoke of very serious issues which were occurring in McAtamney's life at the time of the incident. This drug abuse, Mr Morgan said, has had a detrimental effect on McAtamney's mental health, but this was something his client was addressing in custody.

McAtamney pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon in a public place, assaulting one man, and assaulting a second man and causing him actual bodily harm.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC handed him a 12-month sentence and said that at the time of the incident, McAtamney was "clearly on drugs" - but said he accepted that in prison McAtamney has displayed a desire "to try and rid himself of the drugs problem he unfortunately had acquired".

Belfast Telegraph