A 23-YEAR-old Gaoth Dobhair man has had an eight month jail sentence for assault overturned today.

Stephen Ferry, Upper Knockfola, Bloody Foreland, appeared for an appeal at Letterkenny Circuit Court.

He had been previously convicted of assaulting John Sweeney outside The Dodge nightclub on December 29th 2008 and jailed for the offence.

In an appeal led by barrister Peter Nolan, SC, at today’s hearing, he argued that this was Ferry’s first offence.

Mr Nolan said the incident was not a one-off, in that Ferry “had been attacked by this man on two previous occasions.”

Judge John O’Hagan (pictured) commented: “I don’t know what got into his head on the evening in question.”

He said the victim had been “cut by a glass which had been thrown at him.”

However the judge said that Ferry had “a very good record” but the District Court had clearly viewed the incident very seriously.

But Judge O’Hagan, noting that Ferry’s parents were in court, said that “sending someone to jail isn’t always necessary the answer.”

He went on: “But Mr Ferry must pay something back for the wrong he has done.”

Judge O’Hagan replaced the eight month prison sentence with a 200 hour community service order.



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