Man who ate stranger’s food and attacked him avoids jail

February 28, 2022

A man who ate a stranger’s food in a takeaway before punching him in the mouth has been given a suspended jail sentence after paying his victim €5,000.

Christopher McClafferty approached the man at Pat’s Pizzas at Upper Main Street in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

He began stroking the man’s neck and then began eating the man’s food.

The victim tried to ignore McClafferty and told him to stop eating his food.

McClafferty, aged 26, then struck the victim in the neck and the mouth and told him “I will cut you from ear to ear.”

The accused, of Knocknamona Park, Letterkenny, previously appeared at Letterkenny District Court where he was charged with assault causing harm of Mr Hilly on May 1st, 2019.

The court was shown pictures of the victim’s injuries for which he had to receive extensive dental treatment costing €2,500.

McClafferty’s solicitor Mr Gordon Curley said he had a cheque from his client for €2,500 to compensate Mr Hilly.

Judge Raymond Finnegan read the victim impact statement and said there was a suggestion that a higher amount was needed with additional costs such as loss of work and travel.

Mr Curley said his client worked in Scotland but was prepared to meet a figure the Judge suggested.

Judge Finnegan said the offer should be doubled to €5,000 saying “This man is entitled to have his night out without being assaulted by a thug.’

The case was adjourned until today and the court was told that McClafferty had paid the victim a further €2,500.

The court was told that the accused has 18 previous convictions but none for assault.

Judge Patricia Cronin asked to see the contents of the victim impact statement and then asked to rehear the facts in the case before deciding on a sentence.

She noted that €5,000 had been paid to the victim and sentenced McClafferty to six months in prison.

However, she said she was suspending the sentence for a period of two years.