Antrim man ‘too drunk’ to remember punching off-duty policeman

Barry McGuigan leaves Antrim Court after the hearing
Barry McGuigan leaves Antrim Court after the hearing

A man from Antrim punched an off-duty policeman “three times in the head,” a court has heard.

Barry McGuigan, 32, from Cunningham Way in the town, was so drunk he couldn’t remember the incident, a prosecuting lawyer told the town’s magistrates’ court.

She described how McGuigan was in a fast food outlet on December 17 last year when he started being abusive and aggressive to the staff so another customer intervened to try to calm him down.

Instead McGuigan turned his anger on the man, punching him in the head three times, but as the court heard, his victim turned out to be an off-duty police officer.

Arrested and taken into custody, McGuigan tried to bite a uniformed officer on the hand and had to be restrained, but during interviews McGuigan claimed he “had no memory after 4pm” having gone drinking after work.

He later pleaded guilty to assault and disorderly behaviour.

Defence solicitor Andrew Kinney submitted that since the incident, McGuigan had written letters and cards of apology to the officers and staff at Pizza Time, adding that despite his previous convictions for similar offences, he had been out of trouble for five years.

Sentencing was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.