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Man who punched partner and smashed her car windscreen jailed for four months

Defence said the prospect of spending Christmas in prison, having been in custody since October 6, had been a 'harsh lesson' for her client

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A man who punched his partner following an argument and smashed her car windscreen has been sentenced to four months in prison.

The 26-year-old’s barrister told court that the prospect of spending Christmas in prison, having been in custody since October 6, had been a “harsh lesson” for her client.

Neil Quinn, of Church Meadows in Dromore, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghaberry.

Prosecution outlined that on October 6, at 11.30pm, police received a report from the injured party who claimed to have been assaulted by her partner, the defendant.

In a statement recorded by police, the injured party explained that at around 5pm that same day she had an argument with Quinn about money at her home in Portadown and she had asked him to leave.

The defendant did leave the property to work on his car,  but some time later he returned and asked the injured party for an extension lead.

When she refused, the injured party described how Quinn had struck her twice to the back of the head with his fist.

The injured party ran upstairs. She asked the defendant to leave once more and he did, with the victim locking the doors after he left.

At 11.30pm, the injured party received a phone call from Quinn in which he stated: “Hope you like your windows.”

She looked outside to see that the windscreen of her Audi had been smashed.

Quinn was arrested for common assault and criminal damage and when cautioned he commented that he had used a bar to smash the window and that it was now in his car.

During interview, the defendant made some admissions but denied hitting his partner.

Prosecution told court that the injured party also told police she had been assaulted on August 3 by the defendant following an argument in his car.

She stated that on this occasion he had punched her to the right side of her face.

Defence barrister Caitr√≠ona Keenan stated: “There is no denying that this was a nasty incident…..from the start he has said that he wished to hold his hands up and has entered a plea at the earliest opportunity.”

Ms Keenan added that the prospect of spending Christmas in prison, having been in custody since October 6, had been a “harsh lesson” for her client.

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

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