VICTIM HITS OUT OVER SENTENCE

The staples in the wound on Elizabeth's head. INLM3412-906con

The staples in the wound on Elizabeth's head. INLM3412-906con

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THESE are the horrific injuries sustained by a Lurgan woman at the hands of her ex-fiance.

Elizabeth Gibson (28) was left with serious facial injuries and a head wound which required seven staples after she was attacked by her then fiance in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

The injury to her eye. INLM3412-907con

The injury to her eye. INLM3412-907con

Her assailant Stephen Christopher Patrick Kelly (44) of Avondale Manor, Craigavon appeared in Craigavon Court on August 8 charged with her assault as well as assault on a police officer.

Kelly, who was represented by Paul L Downey & Co Solicitors of Banbridge, had initially pleaded not guilty but later change his plea to guilty.

Following a pre-sentence report, Kelly was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the injured party and given 100 hours community service and two years probation to run concurrently on each charge.

He was also ordered to attend the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme during his period of probation.

Elizabeth, who described the sentence as a slap on the wrist, recalled the night she was assaulted: “He knocked me unconscious. When I woke up I was in the hallway with paramedics around me. He was in the other room scuffling with police.”

She added: “The police phoned my mum to come and get me. I didn’t want her seeing me in that state - covered in blood with a black eye.”

“I couldn’t open my eye for three day after. I needed seven staples to the wound on my head and a load of x-rays because they though my cheekbone was broken.

“I stayed with my mum for three weeks afterwards. I was off work for four weeks and have been on medication ever since.”

Elizabeth has been going to Women’s Aid in Craigavon on a fortnightly basis and said the help she has received there has been second to none.

She added: “It doesn’t send out a great message to women who have suffered domestic abuse. When I think of what I went through to bring him to court and then he gets a slap on the wrist it’s disheartening. I’m not happy about it whatsoever. Not only did he assault me, but he assaulted a police officer. I thought he’d have got a more severe sentence.

“I would even have been happy if he got a suspended sentence, but community service is a slap on the wrist.”