Man assaulted his 
ex-partner twice

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Twice in the space of four days a 30-year-old man assaulted his ex-partner by kicking her and kicking a chair from beneath her.

Tony Maher, Ballyoran Crescent, Portadown, was sentenced for two charges of assault when he appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was put on probation for two years with the condition that he engages in the integrated domestic abuse programme.

A two year restraining order was also put in place with the conditions that he does not contact the injured party or harass, pester or intimidate her.

Maher had originally denied the charges and the case was to be contested. But on the day of the contest he changed his plea to guilty and the matter was adjourned so for a pre-sentence report.

Last Wednesday’s court heard that on February 26 this year police went to an address in Craigavon and spoke to the injured party who said she had been assaulted by her ex-partner.

She also said there was a further assault on February 22. Both incidents happened at the victim’s home where she lived with her three young children.

On February 22 Maher had repeatedly kicked her about the legs and grabbed her by the hair.

In the second incident on February 26 he had thrown her about the bedroom and kicked a chair she was sitting on from under her causing her to fall to the ground.

There was also shouting and verbal abuse and the injured party left the house with her children and went to another address before contacting police.

A solicitor representing Maher said he now fully accepted the facts and was very contrite about the matter. He added that it was ‘disgraceful behaviour’ and the defendant accepted he had acted in a disgraceful manner.

The solicitor said Maher has not had any contact with the victim since February and does not want to have any contact. He asked the court to consider the recommendation in the pre-sentence report where probation was offering him the chance to engage in the domestic violence programme.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said domestic violence was bad enough but what made this case worse was that the injured party had to attend on the day it was listed for a contest. “This put her under pressure which was unacceptable in my view,” the judge added.

He said the report indicated Maher was suitable for the domestic abuse programme.