Belfast Telegraph

Larne teen Odhran Loughlin who kicked and punched elderly man near shop 'off his head' on drugs

The court heard that Odhran Loughlin had ‘anger management issues'
The court heard that Odhran Loughlin had ‘anger management issues'

By Nevin Farrell

An 83-year-old man who had gone to a Co Antrim shop to buy milk was kicked in the stomach and punched in the head by an 18-year-old who was "off his head" on drugs.

The pensioner had just left a Spar shop at Linn Road in Larne on the evening of December 11 last year when he noticed a youth nearby who was "talking to himself", a court heard.

It was Odhran Loughlin (18), of Ballymullock Road near Larne, and he suddenly attacked the pensioner.

He was swearing as he kicked the victim in the stomach and struck him in the face, the court was told. The pensioner received a cut near his ear and tenderness to his stomach.

Loughlin appeared at Ballymena Magistrates' Court yesterday for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to a charge of assault.

He was put on probation for a year, ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation to the victim.

A prosecutor said that, when interviewed, Loughlin said he taken drugs and had been "off his head" and couldn't remember what had happened.

Loughlin said the pensioner was unknown to him and "happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time".

Defence barrister Neil Moore said it was an "abhorrent" unprovoked attack on an elderly man.

He said Loughlin had taken a "mixture of prescription drugs" and afterwards was remorseful about what he did.

The defence lawyer said the defendant was "absolutely appalled" when informed of what happened.

Mr Moore said there were "underlying anger management issues" which Loughlin needed to address.

On the date in question, when those issues mixed with prescription drugs, it was a "perfect storm" and resulted in an attack on a "poor hapless gentleman minding his own business", the lawyer added.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was an "appalling" incident.

He said senior citizens deserved the "utmost protection" and the victim did not in any way deserve the assault visited upon him by Loughlin.

However, the judge noted that the defendant had shown remorse and had a clear insight into the distress he caused the pensioner.

Judge Broderick said Loughlin had lived with his grandfather and thought he should have known to "respect your elders".

The judge said jailing the defendant would not address Loughlin's underlying issues and in a bid to prevent further offences he put him on probation for a year.

He also ordered him to do 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £200 compensation to the victim.

Belfast Telegraph

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