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Man convicted of pointing knife at his child’s grandmother handed suspended sentence

Defence said: 'His mother is in attendance. She is extremely disappointed, to say the least, that he has found himself in this situation'

Armagh Magistrates' Court

An Armagh man who was convicted of pointing a knife at his child’s grandmother has been sentenced to three months in prison suspended for two years.

The 31-year-old’s barrister stated: “This is a man who has never been before the court. He is remorseful that he finds himself in this position.”

James Cox, of Mullacreevie Park, appeared for sentencing on failing to provide a specimen of breath, common assault, driving with excess alcohol in blood and possession of a bladed article in a public place at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry.

Prosecution outlined that on May 7, at 3.10pm, the injured party claimed that a male, whom she knew to be the defendant, had exited a white van and approached her.

She told police that Cox had shouted at her whilst pointing a knife in her direction.

At a previous contested hearing, describing her relationship to the defendant, the injured party explained that Cox was the father of her grandchild.

On that occasion, she stated that the defendant had gestured with the knife towards her and uttered words to the effect of “mind your own f****** business”.

At the sentencing on Tuesday, prosecution outlined that Cox was located and arrested at his home a short distance away.

During a search of a white van in the vicinity, a knife was located between the seats.

Upon noting a smell of intoxicating liquor emanating from the defendant, police requested a preliminary breath test but he refused to comply.

Whilst en route to custody, Cox became unresponsive and had to be taken to Craigavon Area Hospital.

At the hospital, an evidential sample of blood was obtained from the defendant and when analysed this gave a reading of 177mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – over twice the legal drink drive limit.

Cox was later interviewed about the allegations at Lurgan Custody Suite, where he made denials of the offences.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “This is a man who has never been before the court. He is remorseful that he finds himself in this position.

“His mother is in attendance. She is extremely disappointed, to say the least, that he has found himself in this situation. He has now moved out of the area at a distance from his ex-partner.”

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said: “I directed a presentence report because of the seriousness of the offending. I recount the CCTV that I observed and I recall the circumstances of the offending.

“Given the seriousness of any offence involving a knife and assault on a female, I feel it is appropriate for a prison sentence but I will not require him to serve that today.”

Cox was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for a period of two years and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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