Man playing gaming machine in County Antrim pub was punched to the ground in 'rotavator row'

Man playing gaming machine in County Antrim pub was punched to the ground in 'rotavator row'

A MAN using a gaming machine in Broughshane's Thatch Bar was knocked to the ground after suddenly being struck on the left side of his head.

The man told police he looked up and saw Ryan Calderwood and when he got to his feet he was punched again on the left side of his face and was told 'That's what you get for slabbering'.

Details emerged as Calderwood (31), of Rocavan Meadow, Broughshane, was at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, for sentencing on an assault charge.

The court heard there was an incident around 1.30pm on June 16, 2019.

The other man received bruising to his left eye and behind his left ear and told police he had a "constant ringing in his ear".

CCTV was shown to the court.

The prosecutor said the injured party told police he had lent the defendant a garden rotavator and alleged Calderwood had "refused to return" it.

During interview, the defendant made a counter-allegation that the man had punched him that afternoon in the toilets of the bar but the prosecutor said a 'no prosecution' decision was issued on that matter.

Defence barrister James Toal said just prior to the gaming machine incident there had been an incident in the "bathroom" of the pub.

He said there had been an argument about the rotavator and claimed Calderwood had been punched in the stomach which was bruised.

The lawyer said the defendant had then responded in the "heat of the moment".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: "There may well have been something happened before, I'm not going to pass judgment on that, I'm not saying there was, I'm not saying there wasn't.

"Whatever happened earlier there is no justification for you taking the law into your own hands. If you do something like this again you will go to prison".

The defendant was given a five months prison sentence, suspended for a year, and was ordered to pay the injured party compensation of £250.

  • Main picture: General image of a rotavator.