Punched fellow club member

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AN intoxicated Coleraine Rugby Club member slipped and fell on Boxing Night and when a fellow member helped him up he was suddenly punched on the mouth, the town’s Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.

Paul Roxborough (33), of Greenmount Road, Coleraine, was set to contest a Section 47 assault charge relating to late on the evening of December 26 last year.

However, he then pleaded guilty to a lesser Section 42 common assault charge.

A prosecutor said a man went to the aid of Roxborough to help him up when the defendant “for no reason whatsoever” punched him on the mouth.

The injured man later had to attend hospital when a lip wound became infected.

The prosecutor said there had been “some tensions” regarding positions on the rugby club’s Executive Committee involving the man and Roxborough’s father “some years before”.

When interviewed by police Paul Roxborough said he could not recall what happened during the Boxing Day incident because he had been drinking.

Defence barrister Alan Stewart said both men were club members and his client is a “man of impeccable character” with no previous convictions but this was “a significant blot on his copybook”.

He said the defendant did not deny the incident but simply had no recollection because of the amount of alcohol he had.

Mr Stewart said the only injury caused was a small cut to the lip which became infected.

District Judge Benita Boyd noted Roxborough’s “good character” and that he had shown “some remorse”.

Judge Boyd imposed a conditional discharge of a year and ordered him to pay £200 compensation to the injured man.