A man who subjected his partner to ongoing and controlling domestic abuse has been branded a “menace” by the judge and sentenced to nine months in prison.
On sentencing Airidas Daugela – who assaulted his ex-partner on numerous occasions – Deputy District Judge Holmes said: “You’re a menace to any person who goes into a personal relationship with you and anyone who’s considering doing that should think very long and hard about what they do.”
The 24-year-old, of no-fixed-abode, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.
He was charged with domestic abuse and a number of common assaults.
At the outset of the hearing, the court was told that on June 27 last year, police had received a report from a woman alleging that she had been subject to ongoing domestic abuse by her ex-partner, the defendant.
She stated since she had informed him that she was pregnant with his child in late 2021 he had become controlling of her.
The court heard that he was constantly checking up on her and checking who she was with and who she was talking to. He also commented on her clothes and called her names such as “fat”, “ugly” and “slut”.
He would also accuse her of cheating on him and regularly check her phone and control who she saw. She stated that he was “aggressive” in his demeanour towards her and would “talk down” to her.
She further alleged that in May 2022 he had slammed her head against a cupboard, causing bruising to her head and kicking her at the same time. The same month, he had slapped her to the face causing a bust lip.
The court was told of an incident on June 20, 2022, when she had been helping him to carry a dog crate down the stairs in her home.
She felt that she was going to fall and told him to stop. She alleged that he then began to shout at her, calling her “lazy” and “useless”. He then followed her and lifted up her mobile phone, before hitting her with it.
She managed to retrieve the phone but before she could dial 999 he took it away from her. She stated that she then went to the living room and told him to leave, which he refused to do.
He got on top of her, grabbed her by the throat and slapped her to the face.
She reported that her daughter then came down the stairs and she told her that they were leaving. As they went to leave the defendant locked the front door and said that she wasn’t going out.
The following morning, she left to take her daughter to school. According to her statement, she ended the relationship at the end of June 2022.
The defendant was interviewed and denied the allegations.
The court heard that the defendant had been on bail for the case up until he lost his address around a month ago.
For mitigation, a defence solicitor told the court that the defendant had not put the injured party through the “trauma” of having to give evidence.
“He’s old enough to know better…. but he’s at the stage where he can still learn,” he said.
The defence explained that depression and anxiety were factors at play, explaining that the defendant is someone who is “able to get jobs quite easily and work hard”.
The defence added: “I think the penny has dropped… He’s saying that he’s not going to go anywhere near this girl again.”
In response, Deputy District Judge Holmes told the defendant: “You have a horrendous record and the penny may be dropping now but it didn’t drop before in 2021 when you got jail for this sort of behaviour, or again in 2021 later on when you got jail for this sort of behaviour.
“You’re just a menace. You’re a menace to any person who goes into a personal relationship with you and anyone who’s considering doing that should think very long and hard about what they do.”
He added: “I will not be dealing with you again in the petty sessions. I just won’t… enough is enough.”
Sentencing, Deputy District Judge Holmes imposed a period of nine months on the domestic abuse charge.
For the other charges, he imposed a period of three months, to run concurrently with the nine months, leaving a total of nine months in jail.
He also imposed a five-year restraining order on the defendant in favour of the injured party.
Speaking on the victim impact report, he commented: “This lady has been very measured. She’s not out for blood effectively. She just wants her life back.”