A Derry man who punched another man causing him to fall and cut his head was told he was lucky not to be facing much more serious charges. 

Alan Vance (24) of 40, Millview Road, Derry appeared before Letterkenny District Court on Monday in relation to charges of assault causing harm in September 2013.

Garda Inspector David Kelly told the court that Gardaí attended the River Nightclub in Castlefin following a report of an assault. They observed that the victim Mr Brian Black had a deep cut to the back of his head.

Mr Black told Garda McLaughlin on the night in question that he got a slap for no reason which caused him to fall to the ground and cut his head. He said he only knew the alleged offender from nights out.

Solicitor for the defence Mr Patrick Gallagher said: “My client said Mr Black kept pestering him for a cigarette. Afterwards he was getting chips from a van when Mr Black came up to him and started annoying him again.”

It was at this point that he hit Mr Black who fell to the ground.

Mr Gallagher said his client had given a very full and frank account of what happened. He accepted that he acted badly and took full responsibility.

“He is a young man who is very remorseful and offers his full apologies through myself and the court,” said Mr Gallagher.

However Gardai said CCTV showed no interference from Brian Black while the defendant was at the chip van.

Judge Paul Kelly said: “This is the sort of assault that could have very serious consequences as we saw in Australia recently.

“There may well have been some interference in the nightclub but there was no interference outside. You are lucky Mr Vance that you are not here on a more serious charge and that you didn’t have someone’s death on your hands.”

The case was adjourned to March 9 to allow for the preparation of a Probation Report and for medical expenses of €145 to be paid to the victim and €245 for the cost of a medical certificate to be paid to the state.

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