One-punch attack 
following house party

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

Parents halted a house party in Portrush and later a university student broke the nose of one of the revelers in a one-punch attack, a court has heard.

Outside the property there had been a scuffle between two people and after Callum McKinney (19), of Central Avenue, Portstewart, had given one of the duo a lift there was a second confrontation, Coleraine Magistrates Court was told.

A man involved in the earlier incident approached a stationary vehicle and, whilst still sitting in the driver seat, McKinney punched him, breaking his nose.

The incident happened on July 3 this year and a prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court, where the defendant was being sentenced on a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, it was a “one punch” attack.

McKinney, a second year student at Jordanstown, was in the dock on Monday and heard the prosecutor say the injured party had been at a house party in Portrush with friends but high spirits were halted when the “parents put everybody out”.

The prosecutor said there had been a “minor scuffle” outside the and injured party then left and later McKinney punched him.

Defence solicitor Brendan McLernon claimed that after the intervention of the parents at the party there had been a scuffle between the injured man and a friend of McKinney’s.

Later, the lawyer alleged, the injured party came over to a car and put his head into the vehicle and “reached” for the front seat passenger - the man he had scuffled with earlier - when McKinney, “stupidly” and whilst still in a seated position, struck him once.

District Judge Peter King said he was concerned that approaching the Christmas party season McKinney and the other man could meet again.

Judge King said the defendant came to court with a clear record and added: “You don’t need me to tell you that one-punch incidents are extremely risky.”

The judge said the amount of times one-punch attacks ended in death by people falling and striking their heads was “fairly terrifying” as he ordered McKinney to do 100 hours community service and ordered him to pay £250 compensation to the victim.