Maureen Morrison was speaking after a 30-year-old Strabane man Teddy Roulston of Ballycolman Estate in Strabane was sentenced to two years four months in prison for the attack on Peter Morrison that happened on June 11 last year.
Passing sentence at Derry Crown Court Judge Philip Babington described it as ‘a terrible incident.’
The court was told that the injured party received ‘very grave injuries’ after the one punch assault resulted in him striking his head off the ground. It was said that CCTV showed both men were drinking together in a bar and ‘appeared friendly’ they then an argument seemed to break out.
At one point Roulston was heard to say ‘you’re not my friend, you’re not my friend you embarrassed me.’ Roulston left the bar and the injured party followed bringing out a bag that the defendant had forgotten.
Roulston then hit the injured party once as Judge Babington said ‘there was no provocation and there was no warning.’ Peter Morrison fell to the ground with witnesses reporting there was ‘a loud crack.’ Roulston was said by witnesses to have uttered ‘How do you like that now do you?’
Judge Babington said that Roulston was confronted by one of the barmen and then said ‘That will f—-g sober him up.’ At interview Roulston did not contradict the CCTV and told police ‘I cannot believe I did that.’
Judge Babington added: “Peter received very serious injuries. They have been described as a very serious brain injury….At first it was thought he would not survive. “He has and will always have very significant disability. “He will require care and assistance for the rest of his life.”
The judge added that the court’s thoughts were with the Morrison family. Roulston has ten previous convictions one for grievous bodily harm in 2002 for which he received a suspended sentence.
Judge Babington said that while the defendant had not been assessed as posing a ‘significant risk’ it was clear ‘both the police and probation do have concerns regarding his propensity to engage in impulsive and aggressive behaviour when under the influence of alcohol.’ Passing a sentence of two years and four months half of which will be served in custody the judge recommended Roulston participate in an alcohol treatment programme.
Speaking outside the court Mrs. Maureen Morrison the victim’s mother said she did not believe the sentence had been long enough.
She said: “”I don’t think he got long enough. “If he had stayed with Peter until the ambulance came it would not have been so bad but he just left him top choke on his own blood.” She said her 38-year-old son needed permanent care. Mrs. Morrison said: “Peter needs help to go to the toilet, he needs help to get dressed. “He was a happy go lucky fellah just going out and things like that.”Peter is never going to come back. The family go to him every day but he has the mind of a 9-year-old. “I am just speaking as a mother.”