A Spanish chef who knocked out another man at a Belfast bar claimed his nationality had been “disrespected”, a court heard today.
Pablo Gallardo received a four-month suspended jail term for his part in an attack which left the victim unconscious for about a minute.
The 29-year-old defendant admitted a charge of common assault.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told police were called to a bar on Arthur Street after fighting broke out on April 19 this year.
Prosecutors said CCTV footage showed Gallardo in verbal discussions with a number of other men.
“This turned physical and the defendant became involved by punching the injured party approximately three times,” a Crown lawyer submitted.
The two groups separated briefly before there was a second outburst of violence.
“The defendant plus two other males knocked the injured party to the ground,” the lawyer went on.
“It was noted on the footage that the injured party lost consciousness for approximately one minute.”
Gallardo accepted using “excessive force” after being arrested and shown the CCTV recordings.
The prosecutor added: “He stated that the injured party was being disrespectful to himself as he is Spanish, and claimed that he was defending one of the other males present at the time.”
Defence solicitor Michael Madden told the court: “Some xenophobic comments were made.”
But Mr Madden also stressed his client took responsibility for actions he regretted.
“He’s in full-time employment as a chef,” the solicitor disclosed.
District Judge Fiona Bagnall emphasised the seriousness of the assault were Gallardo “went back a second time”.
But suspending the four-month sentence for 18 months, she said: “He has pleaded guilty and I accept his genuine remorse.”