A professional boxer who broke a man's jaw in two places during a drunken fight walked free from court after his 18-month jail term was suspended for 18 months.
Her Honour Judge Kennedy told 26-year-old Kevin Joseph Maxwell she was allowing him to walk out of Belfast Crown Court because “there are so many positive aspects in your background, general behaviour and attitude to life”.
However, she told him that given his boxing skills, “you are likely to cause considerable harm when you engage in this type of behaviour”.
Earlier the judge heard that Maxwell, from Cooke Mews in Belfast, turned professional in 2007, had fought for the Four Nations Title and dedicated a large amount of his time to volunteering with the Special Olympics Team Ireland.
Last June, Maxwell's trial for causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Paul Faulkner was halted part-way through when he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of causing GBH.
The boxer also pleaded guilty to three charges of assaulting two female relatives of Mr Faulkner during the same incident.
The jury had heard that Maxwell and Mr Faulkner had given each other “the finger” in a bar on January 19, 2008 before Mr Faulkner left to go to his cousin's house.
The jury of eight men and four women were told that as Mr Faulkner sat on the sofa, Maxwell forced his way in and hit him “at least eight to 10 times” in the face while shouting “I'm going to kill you — do you know who I am?”
Mr Faulkner's jaw was broken in two places and he had to undergo two operations to have metal plates inserted.
Yesterday, defence QC Eilis McDermott said Maxwell's boxing licence was likely to be suspended by the British Boxing Board of control pending a discplinary hearing.