A 24 year old man who attacked his former partner in front of their two young children was jailed for a total of eight months last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
He was Francis Coleman, Moyraverty Meadows, Craigavon, and he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and unlawful damage to a front door, interior door and telephone on January 26 this year.
For the assault he was given a six month sentence and for the unlawful damage a concurrent four month term.
Two combination orders were also revoked and one month in custody was imposed on each to run consecutively with each other and consecutive to the six month terms making a total of eight months.
The court heard that police went to an address in Craigavon after receiving a report of an assault.
The injured party heard banging on the front door and when she answered it the defendant, her former partner, was there.
He said he wanted to collect his belongings and see the children.
She let him into the house and later when he was in the kitchen drinking a tin of beer she asked him to leave. He told her to f—k off and continued to swear at her.
Coleman then put on music which was quite loud and again she asked him to leave or she would phone the police. He grabbed the house phone and began swinging it until it hit the floor and smashed.
A one year old child and a four year old child were present and were scared. Coleman kicked the kitchen door and caused considerable damage.
He grabbed a large kitchen knife and put it inside his coat and asked her where her bank card was.
With the young son hanging onto her leg Coleman began strangling the injured party. with both hands and bit her under the right eye where she sustained a cut. He squeezed harder and harder and the daughter was screaming at him to let her mummy go. The injured party opened the front door and asked him to leave.
He kicked the front door against a radiator, causing damage to the door.
Coleman told her: “Phone the police if you like. They won’t find me. I am going to end it.”
It was two days later on January 28 that police found Coleman. They took him to hospital because of medical concerns. When interviewed he said he had no recollection of events.
Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said Coleman could not remember what had happened because of the amount of alcohol and drugs he had taken.
He added that at the time Coleman’s life was in a total state of flux and he had gone missing for several days. People were searching for him and his name was put on the social media. Alcohol and drugs had played a big part in his life.
Mr Downey explained that Coleman was now with his mother and was in a much better place that he was in the previous 12 to 18 months.
District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said this was a very serious incident and it was aggravated by the fact that it took place in the presence of two children and in the injured party’s home.
Judge Bates also imposed a two year restraining order on the defendant.
Later in the court bail of £500 was granted to appeal against the sentences and Coleman was released pending appeal.