Christmas Day assault on father and brother

On Christmas Day after he had been drinking a 26-year-old man assaulted his father and brother which, a judge said, was disgraceful and contrary to the spirit of the day.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 11:15 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 11:16 am

Stephen Thomas Gracey, Rowan Park, Craigavon, admitted two common assaults and assault on the police on December 25 last year.

A prosecutor said that at 8.50pm police were tasked to an ongoing domestic dispute in Enniskeen.

Gracey was being restrained by members of his family and he struck a police officer with his head, causing an injury to his upper lip. Handcuffs and leg restraints were applied to the defendant.

The injured parties were his father and brother. One of them was pushed against a wall and head-butted and the other was bitten on the right forearm and right thigh causing cuts.

When interviewed he accepted he had assaulted the officer, his father and his brother. Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said his client admitted ‘if my father says it, it must be true’ and it was hurtful to him that he had assaulted his father who had attended court with him.

He explained it was Christmas Day and there had been drink in the house but when jokes were told that were ‘close to the bone’ Gracey reacted.

Mr Thompson said that he made admissions that ‘his family would not tell lies’ about the matter. He added that Gracey had engaged with the community addictions team and had abstained from alcohol. The lawyer said the incident with the police officer should not have happened but it was because of too much drink.

Deputy District Judge John Rea said this was a ‘disgraceful incident on Christmas Day’ when Gracey behaved quite contrary to the spirit of the day to his own family and to officers.

He imposed a combination order of 100 hours community service and 18 months probation. The judge also ordered him to pay £100 in compensation to each of the three injured parties.