A Strathfoyle man discribed as having “a very violent record” has appeared before Londonderry magistrates Court on an assault charge relating to an incident in a Waterside public house last week.
Barry Gordon Whittle, of Clareen Drive, Strathfoyle, is charged with grievous bodily harm with intent on August 17. The Court heard the alleged injured party sustained a fractured skull, broken eye socket, broken cheekbone and fractures to his neck in the assault which took place at Dukes Bar on Spencer Road.
It was claimed Whittle and the alleged injured party were in each other’s company when the alleged injured party started to throw bar stools. Eyewitnesses heard Whittle say “I will sort it,” the was punched once and was instantly knocked unconscious.
Taken to Altnagelvin Hospital, the injured party transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, for emergency surgery, where he man remained in ICU but was making “slow improvement” the Court was told.
During police interview Whittle accepted that he hit the injured party, but claimed he was acting in self-defence. Opposing bail, an investigating officer said Whittle had a substantial record and was on police bail at the time of the alleged incident. The officer said police feared Whittle would commit further offences or interfere with witnesses.
Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client had only met the injured party a few days before this incident and had no issues with him.
He said that Whittle has been subject to assaults in the past and was “particularly keen to avoid being assaulted” on this night as a result of a brain injury he had sustained.
Mr Kyle said Whittle did not have a history of breaching bail and had no reason to interfere with witnesses, as he admits punching the injured party.
Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said he had no faith that Whittle would abide by bail conditions. He noted Whittle has a “very violent record” and he considered him to be a risk to other members of the public.
Whittle was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via video link at the Magistrates Court on September 11.