Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone men badly assaulted over spilt nuts, court told

By Alan Erwin

A pub-goer was left with severe facial injuries after being attacked for intervening in a row over spilt nuts, the High Court has heard.

The man suffered fractures to his jaw, nose and eye socket in the alleged assault outside a pub in Augher, Co Tyrone, on December 27.

Prosecutors claimed Ryan Butler (23) knocked him to the ground and also punched a second man repeatedly during an outburst of aggression.

Butler, who is from the Republic but has an address at Main Street in Clogher, faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was granted bail but ordered to surrender his passport.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay said one of the alleged victims had been seeking a taxi after socialising at Jimmy Johnston's Bar.

As he passed Butler in the doorway he accidentally knocked a tub of hot nuts out of his hand, the court heard.

It was claimed the accused reacted angrily, shouting abuse before the second man intervened in a bid to calm him down.

Butler then threw punches at both of them, knocking one of them unconscious, according to the prosecution.

Mrs McKay said camera footage from the scene showed the attack, and the accused's girlfriend holding him to prevent further violence.

Referring to one of the victims, the barrister added: "He was noted to have severe facial injuries."

Opposing bail, she contended: "It seems the catalyst was too much alcohol taken and an overreaction to this incident where the hot nuts were knocked out of the (bail) applicant's hand."

Defence counsel rejected any suggestion Butler may leave Northern Ireland if released from custody.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Colton also imposed an alcohol ban and prohibited any contact with either alleged victim.

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