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Violent thug who punched wife to face jailed

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A Craigavon man has been sentenced to eight months in prison following a string of domestic violence incidents.

Anthony Joseph James Hughes, of Hillcrest Mews, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday (July 8), via videolink from Maghaberry, for sentencing.

The 58-year-old was charged with two counts of common assault, relating to two different incidents of domestic violence.

The court heard that on April 4 of this year, police were tasked to a domestic incident at an address in Craigavon. Upon arrival, the injured party stated that her husband had assaulted her by “punching her and striking her to the right side of the face”, which caused bruising and swelling.

When arrested and brought in for interview, he simply replied “no comment” to questions.

The second incident occurred on May 17, when police were tasked to the same address following a 999 call, during which the call handler overheard a disturbance.

When police arrived, the defendant was observed “sitting on the sofa in the living room drinking a can of beer.” It was reported that “nothing was ongoing at this time.”

Police then heard that Hughes had “lunged” at the injured party but had not made contact but in an interview using body worn footage, the injured party said that after waking up on the sofa, the defendant had lunged at her and she had to protect herself, adding that whilst no contact was made she feared that it would.

The defendant told police he was “just wanting to make her something to eat”.

The man’s defence solicitor stated: “He’s entered guilty pleas after obviously a fairly unwise decision to give a no comment.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly, on imposing a sentence, said: “He’s pleaded guilty and he’s entitled to credit for that. These occurred on separate dates and therefore I cannot treat them as part and parcel of all the one incident, and they fall with a backdrop of previous offences of violence against the same injured party in a domestic setting.”

Judge Kelly imposed a sentence of four months custody in relation to each charge and ordered the different periods of custody to run consecutively, to reflect the history of domestic incidents.

She also imposed a restraining order to run for a period of two years.

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