Assault at Ballymena pub: Judge says it was fortunate woman’s injuries were not more significant but that that was just by pure chance’

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A judge ordered two women who assaulted a woman outside the front door of The Countryman pub in Ballymena to each do 180 hours of unpaid work.

Ashleigh Balmer of Drumtara and Katie Mawhinney of Montague Manor in Ballymena, both aged 24, were also ordered to pay the victim a total of £650 compensation.

They both were at Ballymena Magistrates Court on February 14 for sentencing on charges of assault and disorderly behaviour.

Footage was played to the court which showed a disturbance at 12.30am on May 27 last year.

A defence lawyer admitted it was a “horrible” incident which had been drink-fuelled.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said that at one stage after the injured party was lying “prostrate on the ground” she was punched.

The defendants apologised for their behaviour.

The judge asked the defendants if they had read a Victim Impact Statement and they said they had.

Judge Broderick hoped that brought home to them that only had the victim been injured physically in a “very vicious” assault but there was also “emotional trauma”.

He said it was fortunate the injuries were not more significant but that that was “just by pure chance”.

The judge said both defendants could consider themselves lucky not be going to prison.

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