‘Good Samaritan’ was punched in the face

A ‘Good Samaritan’ who had tried to help a bare-chested man who was covered in blood was punched in the nose.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 8:01 am

Details emerged at Ballymena Magistrates Court where Kevin Nellis (22), with an address listed as Nursery Close in Ballymena, was jailed for three months.

The defendant admitted charges of assault and disorderly behaviour relating to the afternoon of September 13 this year.

A prosecutor said Nellis phoned police saying he was using a knife to “harm himself”. He was not home when police arrived but they followed “fresh blood droplets” which indicated he had exited. They then received a call from a member of the public who said he had stopped in the Craig Court area to “assist a shirtless male who was covered in blood” but was punched on the nose, causing “swelling and bruising”. Police then saw Nellis “staggering through hedges, shirtless and covered in blood”. He refused to comply with police and was “sprayed” prior to being handcuffed, the prosecutor said. Nellis was shouting and “cursing” and after being arrested was taken to hospital.

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A defence solicitor said the defendant had phoned police saying he was harming himself with a knife and was “threatening to cut his throat” on September 13 and had taken 60 prescription tablets, along with a bottle of vodka, “in an attempt to end his life”.

The lawyer said the injured man was a “good Samaritan” who had stopped to help Nellis as he could see he was in a “distressed state” with no top on and was bleeding. He said Nellis had no memory of the incident but wished to apologise to the man.

Jailing the defendant for three months, District Judge Nigel Broderick said he appreciated the defendant had been undergoing mental health difficulties but it was a “nasty incident” and it was “really, wholly inappropriate” to punch a member of the public on the nose “ who was just trying to help”. The judge said Nellis had a very poor criminal record.

The court heard the defendant had been in custody on remand in connection with charges including attempting to murder a woman on September 22 this year. Other charges are: possessing a knife and BBQ tongs with intent to commit attempted murder; wounding the woman with intent to do her gbh; assaulting her occasioning actual bodily harm; breaching a Restraining Order regarding the woman; aggravated burglary in Kells with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on the woman; false imprisonment of the woman; and criminal damage to her phone. Full details of that case were not outlined to the court and it was adjourned to November 18.