A fisheries officer has claimed he felt his life was under a threat when he was attacked while investigating illegal fishing by the River Foyle.
The man accused of assaulting him has in turn claimed the Loughs Agency employee threatened to drown him.
Fisheries officer Donal Lynch (40) of Carrickmore St Johnston is charged with assaulting Mark Colhoun at Green Brae, Lifford on April 4th, 2012.
Mr Colhoun (30) is charged with assaulting Mr Lynch on the same occasion.
Mr Lynch claims Mr Colhoun hit him repeatedly in an unprovoked attack and later forced him to enter the water to escape a second attack.
Mr Colhoun claims the fisheries officer challenged him to a fight and told him he would “drown you like your brother,” in a reference to the death of his brother David whose remains were discovered in the river a few weeks earlier.
The case had been adjourned from April and Lynch told Letterkenny District Court that he went to the river after receiving a call from a colleague about a report of illegal fishing activity.
After reaching the river at 2.30pm with his colleague, he observed two men crawling up from the banking who proceeded to run down stream from his location.
Mr Lynch said Mr Colhoun then stepped forward and started punching him in the face. He said he ended up in the water where the assault continued.
“I felt in extreme fear of my life at this stage,” he said.
After the incident he was met by colleagues who sent him to a parked vehicle.
He then said he was attacked again by Colhoun after he had met Colhoun’s girlfriend and younger brother. The two men ended up in the water again and Mr Lynch said he felt “this man was attempting to drown me”.
Mr Colhoun told the court the was walking his dog along the river with a friend when he heard a man shouting “what the f**k you think you are at?” He said he was trying to calm the dog down when Lynch said: “Come here you scum bag.”
He said Lynch tool off his coat and stood with his fists out and struck him in the face.
He said the two men began fighting and they rolled down the banking and Lynch said: “I’ll drown you like your brother you bastard.”
He told judge Paul Kelly that every time Lynch saw him he would try to start a fight.
The case was adjourned until January 6th, following legal argument relating to the implications of entering previous convictions into evidence.
Inspector Michael Harrison said that he would have to seek direction from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) following an application from solicitor Mr Frank Dorrian to have the case dismissed.
The case had been adjourned from a previous hearing: