09/09/2011 08:16 EDT | Updated 11/09/2011 05:12 EST

Halifax judge has harsh words for downtown bars

The issue of young people drinking was on the mind of a Halifax judge Friday afternoon.

Justice Joseph Kennedy had harsh words for the downtown bars, saying they should reflect on how much alcohol they're serving.

The case Kennedy was ruling on involved two men in their twenties — Sean LeBlanc and Christopher Vining.

They were in a fight in downtown Halifax last February. LeBlanc ended up with multiple skull fractures and brain swelling.

Vining was charged with aggravated assault, but was acquitted of that charge Friday.

Kennedy said he believed LeBlanc was the one who instigated the incident and that Vining was defending himself.

In delivering his verdict, Kennedy lamented the presence of so many intoxicated people once the bars close in downtown Halifax.

"Too often, that which begins as an enjoyable evening in downtown Halifax ends with serious injuries," Kennedy told the court.

The judge went on to say that people who profit from young people drinking should reflect on how much alcohol they're serving. And he said there also needs to be a better monitoring system.

Kennedy closed his decision by saying, "We are all of us responsible for our own behaviour. Stupid actions often leads to bad consequences. My advice to the young people of this city is get home safely."

Kennedy said the negative consequences of this one bad night were considerable for all the parties involved.

His words came just one day after a 19-year-old Acadia University died after a night of heavy drinking.

That's heightened awareness of the issue as the school year gets underway.