A 27-year-old man who attacked a gay man in the toilets of a gay bar in Belfast, calling him a “gay bastard”, has been sent to prison.

Although Kenneth McIntyre was ordered to serve a year in custody at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that as a dangerous offender who posed a risk of serious harm to the public, he was ordering him to spend a further three years on supervised licence in an effort to protect the public.

Prosecuting lawyer Robin Steer claimed the victim, Mark Saunders, had been in a toilet cubicle when he overheard McIntyre and another individual talking about gay men in a negative fashion. Upon challenging them about it, McIntyre’s friend confronted Mr Saunders, calling him a “gay bastard.”

Mr Saunders cannot remember what happened next, but his lawyer told the court as a result of either a blow or a push, two teeth were knocked out and he fell to the ground cutting the back of his head, with the gash needing seven staples.

McIntyre, originally from east Belfast but now with an address at the Rickamore Road Upper in Ballyclare, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Saunders.

In jailing McIntyre, Judge Kerr revealed he had only been released from prison for a previous violent offence just five days before the incident, commenting that he had “an appalling record.”