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Suspended sentence for woman who breached non-molestation order on numerous occasions

Her ex-partner recorded an incident where she proceeded to go to the rear of the property before shouting and dancing, showing the two fingers

An Armagh woman who verbally abused her ex-partner on numerous occasions in breach of a non-molestation order has been sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 18 months.

Sentencing the 36-year-old, the deputy district judge commented that her “emotional wellbeing was compromised” which appeared to have been the driving force behind her offending

Jennifer Bell, of Mullacreevie Park, appeared for sentencing on four counts of breaching a non-molestation order, criminal damage and two counts of common assault at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 3, police received a report of an assault at Mullacreevie Park in Armagh.

The injured party told police that his ex-partner, the defendant, had hit him and smashed a glass door pane at his home.

Bell was subsequently arrested and on August 12 a non-molestation order was issued, in reference to the injured party.

The defendant went on to breach this order for the first time on August 31, with her ex-partner stating that she was outside his home being verbally abusive.

He recorded the incident as Bell proceeded to go to the rear of the property before shouting and dancing, showing the two fingers.

On September 2, at 10.50pm, the injured party reported to police that the defendant was once more outside his home shouting obscenities.

Bell was subsequently arrested on September 3, giving a no comment interview.

Then on September 9, police received a report from the injured party that the defendant had been outside his property shouting verbal abuse at 2am.

He further alleged that at 1.40pm, he had been driving when Bell stepped in front of his vehicle and blocked his path.

Whilst police were recording a statement from him, at his address, the defendant turned up and was subsequently arrested .

Defence barrister Scott McWhinney stated: “This is a sad case in many ways. You can see from the report, although I do not wish to open it in court, that Ms Bell has delicate mental health issues.

“That has not been adjusted with medication until fairly recently, which has proved to a recipe for disaster.”

He continued: “She holds her hands up, she should not have been there. She believed she was there to check on her child or collect her child. It would appear to be the out workings of psychotic thinking which led her to be there.

“All being said, Ms Bell does not candidly feel that she would be be capable of undertaking community service.”

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “These offences all occurred between August 2 and September 9, which is a relatively short period of time.

“I can see from the report, which was commissioned by your solicitor on your behalf, that on October 9 you were detained under the mental health order.”

He added: “The over picture seems to be that you had an episode with regards to your mental health. Your emotional wellbeing was compromised which appears to have been the driving force behind your offending.”

Bell was sentenced to a total of four months in prison suspended for 18 months.

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