Violence flares after man arrives at property with ‘misplaced view’ that he could obtain drugs

Ballymena Court

A man given a suspended sentence for being disorderly and possessing a baseball bat claimed a man had arrived at his home with a “misplaced view” that he could obtain drugs.

John David Cassells (27), of Hollybank Court, Newtownabbey, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court for sentencing on charges of possessing an offensive weapon at Ballyduff Brae, Newtownabbey, on October 29 last year and also a charge of being disorderly at Ballyduff shops.

A prosecutor said police received a report of males fighting at a shop.

A man had a large cut to the back of his head and both he and Cassells were both taken to hospital.

The prosecutor said Cassells told police the other man had attended his home with a hammer and after going to find him he had taken the baseball bat to “defend himself”.

The prosecutor said the other man said he went to Cassells’ property to “purchase drugs” but that the defendant then “became angry” and struck him with a baseball bat.

A defence barrister said the other man had a “misplaced view” regarding getting drugs at the property.

The lawyer said Cassells actions had been an “appalling piece of conduct” but that the defendant had tried to follow the other man with a view to identifying him until police attended.

The barrister said both men were then involved in a struggle.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said Cassells “could have killed” the other man and the defence lawyer said his client – who was concussed and received cuts to his face – also could have died as the other man had a hammer.

Handing down a five months prison term, suspended for 18 months, the judge said he appreciated the other individual may have been armed but that Cassells had picked up a baseball bat which could have resulted in more significant offences being committed.

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