A Derry man has been spared from going to prison because he has a 'promising career' as a footballer.
21-year-old Sean McCarron has just signed a contract with League of Ireland side Finn Harps.
Sean McCarron of 8, Moore Street was sentenced to 180 hours community service in March last year for assaulting a man in a taxi queue in February 2011.
He was brought back to court today as he had failed to comply with that order.
Defence solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott said that while it was a 'nasty and mean' offence, McCarron had a promising career as a footballer and had just signed for Finn Harps.
The solicitor handed a letter into the court to confirm this.
He said that McCarron had spent the last ten days in custody and this had been a 'salutoiry leson' for him.
District Judge Barney McElholm said that as he letter was from someone 'respected by the court' he would suspend the prison sentence he intended to impose.
McCarron was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £200 in compensation.