Limavady nightclub assault: Two jailed for 'unprovoked' attack

Two men have been jailed for assaulting a coach driver after he intervened in a row outside a nightclub in Limavady, County Londonderry.

Shane Boucher, 25, of Churchill Road, Ballykelly, and Shaun O'Kane, 27, of Larch Road, Limavady, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The incident happened on Catherine Street on 18 March 2013, a court heard.

The driver was punched unconscious and his nose was broken during what was described as an "unprovoked attack".

Limavady Magistrate's Court was told that police were approached by another coach driver in a "distressed state" who told them about an incident near his bus.

He brought police to where the incident had taken place.

As they approached, the other coach driver appeared with blood streaming from his nose.

Police were told that this man had been knocked unconscious but had come round.

The drivers told police that there had been an altercation involving some passengers on the bus and others and he had intervened.

He said he was punched in the face and went to the ground where he was further punched.

A defence barrister for both men said that neither of his clients had "covered themselves in glory".

He said that there had been an altercation between rival factions outside the nightclub and the driver "quite rightly" had intervened to try and separate the factions and had been set upon.

The barrister said O'Kane's record showed no propensity for violence and that this was "out of character for him".

'Unprovoked attack'

He said his client was aware that the courts took a serious view of alcohol-fuelled incidents on the streets.

He said Boucher had not offended for more than two and a half years.

The deputy district judge said it was "an unprovoked attack on a coach driver going about his business".

He said the courts had to protect people, like the driver, from any form of attack.

He said O'Kane had 10 previous convictions.

Boucher had 18 previous convictions, including assault charges, he said.

He sentenced O'Kane to four months in prison and Boucher to six months and ordered them to pay £250 each in compensation.