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Man who assaulted woman and threatened to tell police she cut him ‘very lucky’, says Judge

When upstairs, he placed both his hands over her mouth and nose a number of times, saying, 'I might as well let you die'

Craigavon Courthouse

A man who assaulted a woman and threatened to tell police she cut him if she told has been branded “very lucky” by a Judge, who jailed him for five months.

District Judge Francis Rafferty, sentencing Brian Bernard Gavin (30), at a hearing before Craigavon Magistrates Court, said his “hands were tied” by the limitations on sentencing in Magistrates’ Courts.

The defendant, of no fixed abode, appeared before the court via videolink from Maghaberry, charged with common assault, attempted criminal damage and threats to damage property.

The court heard on September 26 at around 11:50pm, police received a report of a domestic incident in Craigavon.

When police arrived, the defendant answered the door and said that nothing happened. Police noticed blood on the walls, which the defendant said was because he had self-harmed due to his mental health.

Police then engaged with the injured party, who was reportedly “extremely emotional and shaken”. They also observed redness to her face and neck.

She said that at 9:15pm, she arrived back at the house with the defendant after picking him up. When inside the property, he pushed her against the wall and dragged her up the stairs by her hair to the bedroom.

He was allegedly calling her names and accusing her of cheating on him.

When upstairs, he placed both his hands over her mouth and nose a number of times, saying, “I might as well let you die”. She remained in the bedroom on a mattress for three hours.

The defendant then dragged her downstairs, after which she managed to lock herself in the bathroom. She later left the bathroom and asked for the house keys so she could leave.

The defendant then picked up broken glass from an object which had fallen off the wall and cut his arm with it, before smearing the blood on the walls.

He told the injured party if she told police what had happened he would tell them she had cut him and would smash every window in the house.

He was then arrested for common assault, after which he became aggressive and had to be restrained. Whilst in a police vehicle he kicked the back window on a number of occasions.

On September 27, during interview, he admitted to kicking the police vehicle but denied all other offences, stating the defendant had cut his arm.

Police later went to the injured party’s address and captured body-worn footage of her injuries. A large bruise was on her top thigh, along with scratches to the right side of her face and on both sides of her neck.

There were also bruises on her forearm and she said she had cuts on her inner lip from when he put his hands on her mouth.

The defendant later made a counter-allegation at interview. The injured party was interviewed on December 1. She denied this allegation and retained her allegations against him.

A defence lawyer, acting on Gavin’s behalf, conceded that it was “obviously a very traumatic incident” for the injured party and that he “accepts the Crown facts”.

He said the defendant had been struck by the glass object prior to cutting himself but there was, “no excuse whatsoever for his conduct thereafter”.

He added the defendant has served over six months in custody on the charges.

District Judge Francis Rafferty commented: “My hands are tied obviously by the limitations on sentencing in the Magistrates Court and the defendant can count himself very lucky.”

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