Victim appeals for leniency for man who kicked him
A MAN who kicked a friend and fractured his eye socket has been spared jail – after his victim asked a court not to send him to prison.
Christopher O’Connor, 51, kicked a work colleague on the floor. But victim Mark McGirr sent a message on the eve of his sentence asking that he was not locked up.
Plymouth Crown Court heard McGirr had himself been jailed for burglary after he was attacked in the Clifton Inn, Greenbank, in 2010.
O’Connor, of Clifton Street, Greenbank, admitted maliciously wounding McGirr as he was about to stand trial.
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Jo Martin, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the pair, both painters and decorators, had argued around the time of the assault on August 2, 2010. She said McGirr had wrongly accused O’Connor of stealing at work.
Miss Martin added: “O’Connor came across Mr McGirr in a pub. He went for him with punches and a single kick while he was on the floor. The victim suffered a fractured eye socket and a fractured ankle.” Ali Rafati, for O’Connor, said he had received a “very positive” message from Mr McGirr. He added that having been to prison himself, the complainant did not want his former colleague to go to jail.
Recorder Robin Belben told O’Connor: “McGirr was apparently accusing you of taking things from workwhen that was what he was doing. He has been to prison and did not want you to go through what he has been through.”
The judge also said that O’Connor had been forced to wait two years to be sentenced after his trial had been twice adjourned because of lack of court time.
O’Connor was given a 50-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. He must do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay his victim £2,000 in compensation.
McGirr, then 44, of Whin Bank Road, Crownhill, was sentenced to 21 months in jail for burglary in April last year. He stole from a pensioner while working in sheltered accommodation.