A man who assaulted his uncle at a Christmas party at his local creche has been fined.
Dean Catterson was charged with spitting in the face of his uncle John McVeigh at the Wonder Years creche in Letterkenny, on December 23rd, 2016.
Both men appeared at Letterkenny District Court where Mr Catterson strongly denied any assault on his 70-year-old uncle.
Both men attended the party at the creche at Dromore on the outskirts of Letterkenny at around 2pm.
Mr McVeigh claimed that he was approached by Mr Catterson who asked him what he was looking as he was entering the creche building.
He then claimed that he followed him across the yard of the creche and then spat in his face.
Mr McVeigh claims he told Mr Catterson that he was calling the Gardai but claimed his nephew said “F*** the guards, I’m a big boy now.”
Mr Catterson, aged 39, and from Dromore, Letterkenny, completely denied this version of events.
He said that he never spat at Mr McVeigh and that the only altercation they had was a verbal one.
He claims that as he walked past Mr McVeigh but didn’t really recognise him and half acknowledged him.
However, he claimed that McVeigh then called him a “wa*****.”
He confronted McVeigh and asked him why he said that but McVeigh said he would “bust” him.
Catterson then said “He then walked out the gate and out to the road. He started shouting abuse, vile, horrible insults, like you’re a scumbag, prick, w***er, asshole and then vile abuse towards my mother.
“He called her horrible things. I could see other people walking into the creche. I was completely mortified to hear such abuse against me and my mother. It was a total disgrace.”
Catterson said he confronted McVeigh again and said to him “You said you were going to bust me – do it now or be quiet.”
The accused, an IT specialist, said he had known Mr McVeigh growing up but described him as always being a bully.
However, he said that in his adult life he had perhaps only encountered Mr McVeigh on three occasions.
“I didn’t even know he had children at the creche, I mean the man is 70 years old,” he added.
Judge Paul Kelly said what bothered him about the case was that Catterson was considerably younger than his accuser and had opportunities to walk away.
“One wonders what was in Mr Catteron’s head that he invited a man twice his age to bust him or hit him,” he said.
He described the incident as “a most childish incident” that he would have thought would have happened between children in the yard of the school creche rather than two adults.
He found the facts proven against Mr Catterson and ordered him to make a donation of €500 towards St Colmcille’s Hostel in Letterkenny.
He added that he would not record any conviction against Catterson and leave him with a clean record if he paid that donation.