A ROW between neighbours over feral cats resulted in one of them being struck in the jaw.
Robert Heffernan, 25, of Templegreen, Newcastle West pleaded guilty to assault and public order charges arising from an incident on May 17, 2018.
Inspector Andrew Lacey told Newcastle West Court the defendant believed his neighbour was responsible for putting wild and feral cats in his garden and that he went to confront him at around midday.
He said Mr Heffernan was aggressive and abusive and that he struck his neighbour into his face with a closed fist.
Solicitor Enda O’Connor said the injured party is a “feline enthusiast” and that the amount of cats he was keeping had caused his client considerable annoyance.
“There was an inordinate number of cats,” he said adding his client was “gripped with addiction issues” at the time.
Mr O’Connor said it was “not the hardest of punches” and that the injured party did not require medical treatment. He added that a pest control company was contacted following the incident.
“He now accepts he was wrong, he apologises,” he said adding the father-of-two is seeking to be housed elsewhere.
Imposing sentence, Judge Mary Larkin noted the defendant received a prison sentence last month in relation to a separate incident – in June 2018 – involving another neighbour.
She commented his actions on each occasion were not acceptable and if she sees him in court again the consequences will “not be good”.
She imposed a €300 fine with a default penalty of two days’ imprisonment.