Brutal attack | 

Co Antrim dad (61) who punched and kicked blind man on the ground spared jail

The victim, a partially-sighted man who had mobility problems, did not want to see his attacker jailed

Paul HigginsSunday Life

This is the Ballymena dad who punched a blind man to the ground after he knocked into him and his disabled son with his walking aid.

The magistrates court in the town heard that 61-year-old Roy Gilmour kicked his victim at least once while he was on the ground, but his victim, a partially-sighted man who had mobility problems, did not want to see his attacker jailed.

Last month Gilmour had been jailed for three months for common assault but he appealed that and on Tuesday, Judge Desmond Marrinan replaced that with a six-week sentence, which he suspended for a year.

The Antrim County Court judge said while some might see that as a lenient sentence, he explained he believed Gilmour had acted “completely out of character” and it was “highly unlikely” he would ever be in court again.

At an earlier hearing Gilmour, from Tullymore Park in the town, pleaded guilty to a single count of common assault during the incident on Wellington Street on November 25, 2021.

The victim, a 63-year-old man who is registered blind with only 10-15% vision and who uses a rollator to get around as he cannot use a stick, was walking when he encountered Gilmour and his disabled son, who is also partially sighted, coming towards him.

The victim stopped but Gilmour and his son did not change their course and bumped into him, with Gilmour reacting angrily, knocking his victim down with three punches to the face. When the man was lying on the ground, he kicked him at least once.

The victim, the court heard, sustained injuries to his nose and cheeks and there was blood on his coat but the prosecution revealed how the man “was upset” that Gilmour had been jailed last month.

Defence counsel Grant Powles said that on the day of the incident Gilmour had been taking his severely disabled son to see Santa when “unfortunately, especially for the injured party, their paths came together.”

Imposing the suspended sentence, Judge Marrinan said: “Justice must always be tempered with mercy,” and given his background, “I’m sure you bitterly regret what happened”.

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