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Eight months jail for man who punched woman in face and sprayed deodorant in her eye

The district judge described it as a 'vicious attack on a vulnerable and defenceless woman'

Armagh Courthouse

A man who punched a woman in the face and sprayed deodorant in her eye has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

In sentencing the 37-year-old, the district judge stated: “This was a vicious attack on a vulnerable and defenceless woman. These attacks are far too frequent and those who carry them out must know the court will take a dim view.”

John Paul Reilly, of no fixed abode, appeared for sentencing on common assault and resisting police at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on January 13, at 4.30am, police received a call from the injured party regarding a domestic disturbance at an address at Drumarg Park, Armagh.

The injured party stated that the defendant had arrived at her home at 2.30am intoxicated. She said she felt sorry for him as he had no fixed abode and let him in.

Later, an argument ensued with the injured party saying she was going to get a restraining order out against Reilly.

The defendant responded by punching the injured party to the right eye. He then threw her across a bed and sprayed deodorant directly into her eye.

Due to the events, the injured party called police, and upon arrival Reilly was aggressive towards officers and resisted arrest.

Police were eventually able to place handcuffs and limb restraints on the defendant, before conveying him to Banbridge Custody Suite.

During interview, Reilly answered “no comment” to most questions and ended it by saying: “This is all a load of bulls***”.

Defence barrister Colm Fegan stated: “This was an appalling incident. Mr Reilly is aware of the ramifications. There are many aggravating features in this case.

“From the nature of the offence, this woman was acting out of the kindness of her heart. He initially denied this in interview but accepting it during our first meeting together in court.”

He continued: “This is probably one of the worst incidents on his record. The report shows he has positively engaged with probation. He has taken some steps to address his mental health and alcohol issues.

“This is a totally different picture from six weeks ago. He has 43, now going on 45, convictions, and in recent times there has only been one option in sentencing.”

Mr Fegan added: “I ask that your worship considers an enhanced combination order. Mr Reilly could benefit from probation and realises now if he does not avail of these services he will face a lengthy period of incarceration.”

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “I have considered the plea of mitigation and the presentence report, nonetheless, I am satisfied the custodial threshold has been met in this case.

“This was a vicious attack on a vulnerable and defenceless woman. These attacks are far too frequent and those who carry them out must know the court will take a dim view.”

He added: “He showed no remorse during interview and has a record of 43 convictions, many of these violent in nature.”

Reilly was sentenced to a total of eight months in custody for the offences.

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