Belfast Telegraph

Thug Shane Sime who assaulted victim twice jailed

A man who twice attacked a drunk man after arming himself with a hurley stick in what a judge called a
A man who twice attacked a drunk man after arming himself with a hurley stick in what a judge called a "vicious and nasty" assault has been handed a five-year sentence

By Paul Higgins

A man who twice attacked a drunk man after arming himself with a hurley stick in what a judge called a "vicious and nasty" assault has been handed a five-year sentence.

Ordering Shane Sime to spend half his sentence in jail and half on supervised licence, Newry Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC told the 27-year-old that if he had inflicted really serious harm "the offence would have merited a starting point of 10 years".

At an earlier hearing, Sime, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry prison, admitted attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on Philip Rooney with intent, causing the victim actual bodily harm, possessing a weapon - the hurley stick - on Newry Street in Kilkeel and causing criminal damage to a window on February 7 this year.

Yesterday, Judge Kerr described how the offences arose "out of an atrocious incident" at Harley's Bar in Kilkeel when Sime "came into conflict" with Mr Rooney (47).

The incident was captured on video and the judge outlined how the victim, who was seen "staggering" before the incident, was knocked "easily to the ground" before Sime "picked up the top of a table and assaulted him".

"It's perfectly clear that the injured party was in no position to defend himself," said Judge Kerr, adding that Sime, having been put out of the bar, "decided to go away and come back with two friends wielding a hurley stick".

The judge told the court that from the footage "the look on his face as he walked back into the bar with the stick, [showed] what his intention was - the look on his face spoke volumes".

Armed with the stick, Sime "lay about him" with the weapon when Mr Rooney again "was in no position to defend himself" in what the judge said was a "vicious and nasty attack".

"It's clear that when someone assaults a person on the ground and uses either a weapon or their feet, an extremely serious view is taken by the courts," warned the judge.

He said that in Sime's case, not only did he commit the initial assault but having been put out of the bar, "he didn't contemplate leaving but instead, decided to go home and come back with his hurley stick which he proceeded to use on the victim".

Judge Kerr told Sime that had he stopped immediately after the initial confrontation "that might have provided some measure of excuse but there was absolutely no excuse whatsoever for the second assault".

"Clearly he was minded to arm himself and to do as much damage as he could to the victim," said the judge, adding that while the injuries inflicted "were not trivial, that was through no plan of the defendant".

He revealed Sime has convictions "consistent with violence", but that since he has been in jail he has taken steps to address his issues with drugs and is trying to turn his life around.

The judge said while he was giving Sime credit for pleading guilty, that credit was limited to the extent that "he was caught red handed... there was never any question of him being in a position to successfully contest this case".

In addition to the jail sentence, Judge Kerr also imposed a four-year restraining order in respect of Mr Rooney and Harley's Bar.

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