Court hears man was ‘punched’ following ‘aggressive tackle’ at indoor football game in Ballymena

The court heard an indoor football game was being held at this hall at the Ballymena North Centre.

A MAN was ‘punched’ following an ‘aggressive tackle’ during an indoor football match at the Ballymena North Centre, a court has heard.

Details emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court where Chris Fullerton (19), of Corn Mill, Connor, was charged with ‘unlawfully and maliciously wounding’ a man on December 12, 2019.

A prosecutor said police were tasked to a report of an assault at an indoor football game at the Ballymena North Centre and when they spoke to a man they saw blood coming from his ear and there was blood on his clothing.

The prosecutor said the man told police he was “punched whilst playing football – “after an aggressive tackle” – “by a male he knows as the defendant”.

The prosecutor said the injured man attended hospital and received “five stitches” to his ear and had “torn cartilage” in his ear.

The defendant was arrested and his reply after caution was: “I’m saying nothing until my solicitor arrives”.

At Court the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge of ‘wounding’.

Defence barrister Chris Sherrard said all the evidence in the case has been agreed between the defence and prosecution.

The defence lawyer said: “The assault is accepted, the dispute is simply in relation to the level and gradation of assault”.

He said it should be a ‘Section 47 assault’ case.

Mr Sherrard said there was medical evidence which showed “five dissolvable sutures” had been required to the man’s injured ear.

The lawyer said there were photographs and also “CCTV footage of the incident”.

The case has been adjourned to February for the defendant to contest the ‘wounding’ charge.

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