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Community service for “thuggish and violent behaviour”

Community service for “thuggish and violent behaviour”

Friday 21 April 2023

Community service for “thuggish and violent behaviour”

Friday 21 April 2023

A fight which erupted amidst a Cobo balcony gig last year has seen the two perpetrators handed community service orders.

Judge Graeme McKerrell told both James Bertram Corneileus Holder (24), and Rory Jack Sullivan (20) to “grow up and try to lead productive lives” after sentencing them in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

During the hearing the Police were criticised for delays in investigating the offence, which occurred on 10 July 2022 on the grounds of The Rockmount.

Crown Advocate Sarah Watson told the court that a pub security guard had seen two males swearing at each other and fighting in the rear car park. A group eventually separated the men, later identified as the co-defendants, before they returned to the pub. 

The court was also shown CCTV footage of the two altercations. They began to interact again outside the doors and attempted to fight before being separated and escorted off the premises.

Police arrived soon after and discovered that the fighting was over a “historic matter” with a female, according to Advocate Watson. 

She also noted that Holder had been convicted of a public order offence last year, while Sullivan had two previous assault convictions.


Defending Holder, Advocate Liam Roffey bemoaned that the offence was not heard in court simultaneously with the other public order matter. The Police were blamed for an “inexcusable delay” in conducting voluntary interviews with the defendant.

Advocate Roffey said his client had to “chase the officers” to get his interview. He questioned whether law enforcement let the matter fall “by the wayside” or were simply inefficient.

Regarding the fight, he suggested that no punches contacted the head, and that Holder was assessed as having a low likelihood of reoffending, with plenty in his references to show “a very different side” to him.

Defending Sullivan, Advocate Sam Steel passed on apologies for “disgraceful behavior” and said his client harbours “no grudge” against his co-defendant, although there was disagreement over who instigated the first contact between them.

He added that Sullivan acted with the “overwhelming instinct” to protect the female, but that did not excuse the immature and deliberate decision of both men to resort to violence. 

Sullivan’s positive references were also mentioned, as well as a low likelihood of reoffending assessment.

Judge McKerrell gave credit for the pair’s early guilty pleas but said that was “probably as far as it goes”, criticising their “thuggish and violent behaviour”.

But he accepted that the Police had “created something of a problem” for him, as Holder had already been sentenced for a similar offence which occurred soon after the matter he was dealing with.

He handed Holder 60 hours of community service as a direct alternative to six week in prison, while Sullivan received 120 hours as a direct alternative to 18 weeks youth detention.

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