Man subjected uncle to ‘savage’ attack after he joined him for drinks

Kyle Lyness told police his uncle had ‘been mouthing in my ear all night’


A man subjected his uncle to a “savage” attack as he lay motionless on a restaurant floor, a court heard today.

Kyle Lyness knocked victim Marc Vasey to the ground and punched him, later telling police: “He’s been mouthing in my ear all night.”

The 28-year-old defendant received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Lyness, of Tullywest Road in Nutts Corner, Co Antrim, was also ordered to pay Mr Vasey £1,500 compensation.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard the victim was attacked at the Indian Ocean restaurant in Glengormley last May.

He had been out for dinner with his wife when Lyness, who was also on the premises, joined them for drinks. A prosecutor said the defendant became verbally abusive and launched his attack as they were about to go outside in a bid to defuse the situation.

Despite his aunt’s attempts to calm him Lyness punched Mr Vasey to the floor, before following up with more blows. “The defendant used both fists to strike the upper body and facial, causing his face to become bloodied,” the prosecution lawyer said.

“Members of staff intervened and pulled him from the motionless victim.”

Mr Vasey sustained an orbital floor fracture and blurred vision in the assault. In his statement to police, Lyness claimed: “I hate the b******, he’s been mouthing in my ear all night.”

Defence barrister Luke Curran said his client has shown real remorse over what he did. Lyness described his own actions as being “wrong, shameful and something I deeply regret”, the court heard.

The defendant, dressed in a suit, fought back tears in the dock as the facts were set out. His parents were also present to hear Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty say the attack on his uncle merited a prison sentence.

He told Lyness: “The medical report shows there was a significant degree of force in the blows you rained upon him.

“To assault someone on the ground, be it with kicks or punches, while they are defenceless is savage.”

Based on the defendant’s clear record and early admission of guilt, Mr Rafferty decided to suspend the nine month sentence for three years.

Ordering him to pay his uncle £1,500 compensation within 26 weeks, the judge warned: “If you fail to pay that you will go to prison for the default period of 45 days.”