Court hears man who assaulted two brothers had gone to speak to them following 'social media slurs'

Court hears man who assaulted two brothers had gone to speak to them following 'social media slurs'

A MAN who pleaded guilty to assaulting two brothers had gone to speak to them following "slurs" on social media, a defence barrister told Ballymena Magistrates Court.

Darren Campbell (31), of Rockfield Heights, Connor, was fined £200 in connection with the assaults which happened on May 4 this year and was also ordered to pay a total of £500 in compensation to the men.

A prosecutor said a man told police he had been assaulted by Campbell.

The man and his brother told police they had returned home from a football match and were approached by the defendant.

The prosecutor said one of the men was punched in the face and the other was also "punched, throwing him to the ground".

The court heard Campbell and the men were "known to each other".

The prosecution lawyer said one of the men received a "large bump" to the side of his head and the other had "pain to his eye and blurriness" but there were "no lasting injuries".

District Judge Nigel Broderick asked the prosecutor if there was a "history" to the case or a "problem" between the men and she replied:"I don't believe so".

The defence barrister said the men had been "childhood friends" and had "grown up together in the Ballymena area" with a "keen interest in football"

He added that before the assaults, "relations had soured and in fact some derogatory comments about the defendant had been placed on social media".

The defence lawyer said all three had been at a football match, although not together, and Campbell "had enough" and had gone round to the house "really to ask them to prevent any further slurs that were going on social media".

The barrister said Campbell claimed he was not the initial aggressor but accepted his culpability "in that his self-defence would not have been the requisite standard".

The lawyer said the defendant indicates "he didn't go looking for a fight" but "unfortunately a verbal exchange occurred".

Judge Broderick told the defendant: "You have a clear record bar some driving matters which are not relevant. I will take that into consideration and I will give you credit for your plea.

"Very poor behaviour to go round to the homes of the injured parties and confront them and then assault them. Whatever the background to this it is no justification for your actions".