Court hears 'skilled boxer' smashed prison officer's nose with flurry of punches

Court hears 'skilled boxer' smashed prison officer's nose with flurry of punches

A "SKILLED boxer" who was a prisoner at Hydebank jail in Belfast punched and broke a prison officer's nose in an "outrageous assault on a public servant simply trying to do his duty," a judge said.

Gerard McCabe (20), with an address listed as Hydebank, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on September 1 last year and was jailed for eight months at Newtownards Magistrates' Court.

The defendant appeared via a video link from his solicitor's office.

A prosecutor said the prison officer was punched four times in the face and suffered a broken nose and needed stitches above an eye.

The court heard the defendant apologised.

McCabe had a "lengthy record," mostly as a juvenile.

He has lately been on release on licence up to 2023 for incidents including burglary.

District Judge Mark Hamill read a pre-sentence report and noted McCabe enjoys boxing and is a "skilled boxer".

The judge said the defendant "used his skill to inflict at least four blows on this man's face".

He said it was a "serious example of an assault on a public servant".

The defendant was given an eight months jail sentence but had £400 bail fixed for appeal.