Belfast Telegraph

Punch stopped victim's heart, court told

By George Jackson

A victim of a single punch attack was hit with such force that his heart stopped beating and he sustained a bruised brain and possible fractures of the jaw and eye socket.

A police officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that an off-duty nurse who was at the scene in Londonderry city centre on Thursday night applied CPR to the victim after she was unable to find a pulse.

She tended to the victim, a man aged in his 20s from Co Donegal, until an ambulance crew arrived.

The victim was resuscitated at the scene, but the officer said he had to be resuscitated again when he was admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital.

In court charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent was Martin McDonald (20), an amateur boxer from Cromore Gardens in the Creggan area of the city.

He has admitted punching his victim in the face outside a nightclub in Shipquay Street.

The police witness said officers were alerted to the assault when they received a call from city centre CCTV operators, who recorded the incident which rendered the victim unconscious.

The defendant, who initially denied the assault, left the scene after the incident and was recorded on CCTV handing over his top to a woman in nearby Magazine Street.

Following his arrest, the defendant was breath tested and the reading showed he had over three times the legal limit in his breath for driving.

He told the police he couldn't remember the incident because he was so drunk.

The officer said the defendant was arrested last month for running at another man in the city centre and trying to punch him in the face.

Following his arrest for that incident, he was taken to Strand Road Police Station where he attempted to headbutt a police officer in the face.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said that it was fortunate for the victim and for the defendant that an off-duty nurse had applied CPR at the scene.

He said the defendant was deeply remorseful for his actions and his primary concern was for the condition of his victim.

The District Judge released the defendant on his own bail of £1,000, together with a surety of £750 to appear in court again next month.

As part of his bail conditions the defendant has been banned from going within the city walls and also from consuming any alcohol.

He must also observe a 6.30pm to 6.30am curfew and will be electronically tagged.

"If there is one single breach of his bail conditions, I will have no hesitation in remanding him in custody", Mr McElholm said.

Belfast Telegraph


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