Court: Soldier admits biting off a man’s nose

Bishop Street Court House.
Bishop Street Court House.

An Irish soldier has admitted biting part of a man’s nose off.

Barry Fitzgerald (25), whose address was given as Doire House, Drumnishear, Carrigans, Co. Donegal, pleaded guilty to committing grievous bodily harm on April 14, last year at Waterloo Street. Londonderry.

Londonderry Crown Court was told that the defendant had initially denied the GBH charge, but the day after a jury was sworn to try the case at Londonderry Crown Court, Fitzgerald was re-arraigned and changed his plea to that of guilty.

The court heard that the prosecution accepted that, although Fitzgerald made a racist comment, there was no evidence to suggest racism was a driving factor in the assault.

In court it was revealed that the 25-year-old made the racist comment to a police officer. He told the officer: “I put him out of the car and I bit him. I would do it again the foreign c***”.

Sentencing in the case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports to be compiled by the Probation Service.

Defence counsel, Paul Kearney, said the defence would also be providing the Crown Court with a report from the Irish military in relation to the defendant’s “good service record”.

Fitzgerald was released on continuing bail until June 25.

Releasing Fitzgerald on continuing bail, Judge Brian Sherrard told the 25-year-old defendant this was “no indication of the likely sentence in this case”.