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An Irish butcher found guilty of assaulting a vegan will not be serving any jail time.
Butcher Peter McAtamney from Ballymena struck Sean Allen during a protest at his shop on March 25 last year.
According to reports, activists entered butcher shops in the town chanting slogans including: “It’s not food, it’s violence.”
Allen reported the incident to the police and McAtamney was taken to court and charged with common assault.
He pleaded not guilty claiming it was self-defence, but after a contest in Ballymena Magistrates Court, was found guilty.
However, District Judge Peter King gave McAtamney a discharge, saying he believed everyone had a right to protest, but that campaign was designed to ‘get a reaction’.
He added: “I don’t think it was a case of self-defence. I think Mr McAtamney fell into a trap and reacted in such a way that has attracted some criminal culpability.”
Voice of the animals
According to victim Sean Allen, the protest was peaceful, and its aim was to get people to see animal suffering, and realize they don’t need to eat them.
He denied that protestors acted in an anti-social manner.
Allen added: “[We were] speaking up for animals. We are the voice of the animals.”