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12,000 compo' bill for Clonmany assault 11.05.07

Attacking a man with a beer bottle has resulted in a 12,000 compensation bill and 10-month suspended sentence for a Clonmany man.
Twenty-year old James McEleney, Minaduff, Clonmany, appeared before Judge Desmond Zaidan at Buncrana District Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to assaulting and causing harm to Stephen Devlin on July 9th, 2006.
The court heard the assault happened after the victim confronted the defendant in a local pub about a previous incident.
McEleney, a construction worker, then hurled a beer bottle at the victim who had to have five stitches to a wound between his eyebrows, the court was told.
Judge Zaidan heard that alcohol was the "root cause" of the defendant's aggression. His brother had taken his own life two years previously and his father had left the family when he was a young boy.
But the judge said it was a "particularly disturbing" case. He said the only thing in the defendant's favour was his guilty plea. He listened to testimony by counsellor James Quinn of Meenagorey, Buncrana. The judge said Mr. Quinn was "putting his heart and soul" into helping the young man with his addiction problems and that he seemed to be "turning a corner" as a result.
The defendant originally offered the victim 8,000 in compensation but the judge said he would have to come up with 12,000 as a "gesture of his remorse".
He ordered that the money be paid in two instalments - 6,000 by July 5th, 2007, with the remainder to be paid by March 10th, 2008. He suspended a 10-month detention term for two years on a number of conditions. He bound McEleney to keep the peace on his own bond of 2,000 and ordered him to comply with the Probation and Welfare Service including attending AA and continuing counselling with Mr. Quinn. He told Mr. Quinn that if the defendant 'stepped out of line' he must immediately report him to the Gardai. He also imposed fines totalling 900.

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