Man headbutted bar manager at Old Courthouse pub in town

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A man who headbutted a bar manager at a pub called The Old Courthouse when he was refused a mixed grill after being told he had been previously barred appeared at a real courthouse on Monday and was given a suspended jail term.

Mark Anthony John Whittaker (43), a maintenance worker of Greenhall Manor, Coleraine, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court and admitted two charges of assault and one of being disorderly at Wetherspoon’s pub in the town on the evening of Saturday November 11 this year.

A prosecutor said at 8.30pm on the date in question the defendant went to Wetherspoon’s and after asking for a mixed grill the order was declined because he was barred due to a previous incident.

Whittaker walked off but was then spotted being sick under stairs in the bar and when told to leave he headbutted the manager on the mouth and punched him on the cheek. As he was being escorted from the premises he punched another man on the face.

A defence lawyer said his client had gone to the bar with his wife and another couple to get dinner and when told he had been barred believed it was a case of “mistaken identity”. He said there was no excuse for the father-of-two’s subsequent actions for which he was embarrassed and regretted ever happened.

District Judge Liam McNally said it was a “serious” incident and suspended a four months jail term for two years and ordered Whittaker to pay £250 compensation.