Man to appeal jail sentence

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A Waringstown man was released on bail after he sought to appeal a two month jail term imposed at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Friday for assault.

Darwin Cousins (35) of Oaktree Manor, had pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife’s daughter on October 20 last year.

Police had been called to the Waringstown home by Cousins’ step-daughter who had claimed he had kicked her down the stairs.

The court heard the teenager held on to the bannister while the defendant kicked the injured party in the stomach. She fell ten steps down the stairs. Her left knee was very swollen and she was taken to Craigavon Hospital for treatment. Police searched the area for Cousins and eventually located him on October 22 when he denied involvement in the incident.

Cousins’ solicitor said there had been underlying anxiety due to the fact that the defendant is unemployed. He said the defendant’s wife had given evidence against him, however, things had stabilised. He explained that the defendant and his wife, while separated, are trying to rebuild their relationship.

Judge Mervyn Bates said: “What I find indefensible is that you contested it and put two women through a trial. I felt particularly sorry for your partner.” He added that because it was a domestic violence incident that it raised the bar.

“Though not a child, this was a young person and I know you were originally arrested for actual bodily harm and it was reduced to common assault,” said Judge Bates. “This passes the custody threshold,” he added. He sentenced Cousins to two months in custody. “As far as I am concerned you will serve the two months in custody,” said Judge Bates. He also issued a restraining order barring Cousins having contact with the injured party for two years.

Cousins was taken into custody but after lunch, his solicitor said his client wanted to appeal the conviction and the sentence. He was released on £500 bail and banned from contacting with the injured party pending appeal.