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19/09/2021

Derry man who left his victim with a life-changing brain injury as the result of a sustained attack is jailed for 12 years

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A 38-year-old Derry man who left his victim with a life-changing brain injury as the result of a sustained attack has been jailed for 12 years. Martin John Neeson, from Magowan Park in the Creggan area, appeared at Derry Crown Court on Friday where he was jailed for inflicting multiple injuries on two men in separate attacks in March and August of 2016. The defendant caused life changing injuries to his second victim when he was on bail for the first assault. His first victim has made a reasonable recovery from his injuries but his second victim had, said Judge Philip Babington, suffered traumatic, horrendous and traumatic injuries which were life changing. The court heard that Neeson, who has been assessed as being dangerous, assaulted his first victim following a drinking binge in a house in Newbuildings on March 28, 2016. His victim left the house and walked home but the defendant followed him and attacked him as he lay sleeping on his living room sofa. The court was told Neeson used a knife to inflict multiple lacerations on his victim who was found by a neighbour covered in blood. The defendant told the woman that the victim could be dead, and the court heard that Neeson was covered in his victim's blood. Judge Philip Babington said it was a sustained attack on a defenceless man in which a knife was used where the attacker made no attempt to obtain assistance for his seriously wounded victim. In the second attack, five months later Neeson assaulted a man in a house in Magowan Park. The householder, a woman, dialled 999 and told the emergency services that the victim was probably dead. When the police arrived, they found the man lying unconscious on the hallway floor with a very serious head injury. He was bleeding from the nose, mouth and ears and the hallway as well as the living room walls, floor and ceiling were covered in blood. Neeson told the police that he'd been raped by his victim as he slept in bed. He said when he woke up the victim was sexually assaulting him and he punched his victim who then fell down the stairs. The 36-year-old old victim was unconscious on arrival at Altnagelvin Hospital, where doctors found that of his lungs had collapsed and he had suffered numerous lacerations to his scalp, left ear and left forearm as well as a massive bleeding to his brain. Judge Babington told Neeson that if he had been convicted of the offences following a jury trial he would probably have received either an indeterminate sentence or a life sentence.

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