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Man with ‘longstanding’ alcohol problem who assaulted ex handed suspended prison sentence

Court heard the 38-year-old had two previous custodial sentences for assault on the same injured party

A Co. Armagh man who assaulted his ex-partner following in argument in breach of a non-molestation order has been handed a suspended sentence.

The district judge also put in place a two year restraining order, after the prosecution revealed that the 38-year-old had two previous custodial sentences for assault on the same injured party.

John Paul Reilly, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to common assault and breach of a restraining order at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

Prosecution outlined that on August 7, at 12.55am, police received a report of a domestic assault at Drumarg Park in Armagh.

The injured party stated her ex-partner, the defendant, had been at her home and was intoxicated demanding his phone.

She claimed that he had pushed her and punched walls and doors but had caused no damage.

The injured party said that Reilly was aggressive and this had caused her to feel intimidated, in breach of a non-molestation order.

Upon calling the police, she said that the defendant had left the property by climbing through a kitchen window.

Reilly was later located and arrested by police. When interviewed, he claimed that the injured party had called him and asked him to get a taxi to her home.

The defendant also denied assaulting or pushing his ex-partner whilst at her home.

Defence barrister Justin Byrne stated: “He claims that she had invited him to her property. They were drinking together, he has a longstanding difficulty with alcohol for well over 20 years.

“It started off well but ended in an argument. He accepts that he pushed her, there was no injury and the police were called.”

He continued: “He has been in custody since August 7, he was granted bail subject to an address suitable to police but we was not able to provide one.”

Prosecution revealed that Reilly had two previous custodial sentences for assault in relation to this injured party and stated a restraining order would be sought.

District Judge Eamonn King sentenced the defendant to four months in prison suspended for two years and put a restraining order in place for a period of two years.

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