Mother disappointed at sentence outcome

Court
Court

The mother of a man who sustained “grave and life changing injuries” after a one punch attack outside a public house in Londonderry has said her son’s attacker did not get a long enough sentence.

Maureen Morrison made the comments after Teddy Roulston (30), of Bloomfield Park, was jailed for two years and four months for an attack on her son, Peter Morrison.

Roulston pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Morrison on June 11, 2014.

Passing sentence, Londonderry Crown Court, Judge Philip Babington described it as “a terrible incident”.

The court was told that the injured party received very grave injuries after the one punch assault resulted in him striking his head off the ground.

CCTV footage showed both men amicably drinking together, but an argument seemed to break out and at one point Roulston was heard to say “you’re not my friend. You’re not my friend you embarrassed me”.

Roulston left the bar and Morrison followed bringing out a bag that the defendant had forgotten. Roulston then hit the injured party once without provocation or warning. Witnesses reported hearing “a loud crack” when Mr Morrison fell. Confronted by a barman Roulston reportedly said: “That will f****** sober him up”.

Imposing a two year and four month jail term, half of which will be spent in custody and ordering Roulston to participate in an alcohol treatment programme, Judge Babington said: “Peter received very serious injuries. They have been described as a very serious brain injury.”

He continued: “At first it was thought he would not survive”.

He said Mr Morrison would always have “very significant disability” and would require care and assistance for the rest of his life.

He added that the court’s thoughts were with the Morrison family.

Roulston has 10 previous convictions, including one for grievous bodily harm in 2002.

Judge Babington said that while the defendant had not been assessed as posing a significant risk of harm, police and probation had concerns regarding his propensity to engage in impulsive and aggressive behaviour when under the influence of alcohol.

Speaking outside the court Maureen Morrison, the victim’s mother, said she was disappointed with the sentence imposed.

“I don’t think he got long enough. If he had stayed with Peter until the ambulance came, it would not have been so bad. He just left him to choke on his own blood.”

Mrs Morrison said more than a year after the assault her son needed permanent care.

“Peter needs help to go to the toilet, he needs help to get dressed. He was a happy go lucky fella just going out and things like that.

“Peter is never going to come back. The family go to him every day but he has the mind of a nine-year-old.”