Man struck railway official with elbow in drunken assault
A PORTADOWN man who attacked a railway official in a drunken assault was ordered to pay his victim £250 compensation when he appeared on Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
Forty five year old Patrick Joseph Withers, of Woodside Green, Portadown, was also sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for three years, for unlawful assault on July 26 last year.
The court heard that at 5pm at Portadown railway station the defendant got off a train. He was abusive to passengers and staff.
He stood at the entrance beside a set of gates and refused to leave. He was asked to leave on a number of occasions.
Withers did leave but then returned to the platform where he accused an official of being a ‘prison officer in Long Kesh’ and pushed into him.
He swung his arms at the injured party and hit him with his right elbow on his cheek.
A solicitor for Withers said he had significant alcohol difficulties and had very limited recollection of the incident because of alcohol.
She added that he had a record but there had been a significant gap from 1998 when he went nine years without coming to police attention.
The solicitor said if he had been sober this would never have happened. Withers was now working with AA to deal with his alcohol issues.
District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said Withers had completed a period of probation but had not learned from it and was not suitable for community service.
He added that the only option was a custodial sentence and the decision was whether it should be suspended.
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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