'Addict was off his head during attack'

Published Tuesday, 30 July 2013
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A drug addict was "off his head" when he attacked a man and shouted homophobic abuse at him, a court has heard.

'Addict was off his head during attack'
The judge decided to impose a probation order. (© UTV)

Jamie McDermott took a legal high before launching the assault on his victim in Belfast city centre.

The 29-year-old, of Crossan Walk, Lisburn, was ordered to serve 18 months probation after admitting the offence.

He must also pay £200 compensation to the man he targeted on 26 May.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard the incident had been aggravated by his hostility and homophobic comments.

The victim said he and a friend had been walking in the Donegall Street area when McDermott ran up behind them and shouted abuse. He was then punched in the back before more slurs were directed at him, according to the prosecution.

McDermott was dishevelled and appeared to be under the influence of drugs when arrested.

His lawyer said he had made full admissions to the common assault charge and apologised for his actions.

She insisted he was not homophobic, having been looked after by a gay man earlier in his life, adding: "He said the incident happened when he was off his head."

After being told of McDermott's troubled background and addiction problems, the judge decided to impose a probation order.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (546 days ago):
Why is being under the effects of drugs a mitigating circumstance? Did he know he was taking drugs? If he did it should it not be an aggravating circumstance? Soft sentences for violent crime and threats are the reason society is in the state it is. People get jail for growing weed or making an offensive comment on twitter.
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