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Man who squirted sun cream over partner handed 12 months probation

Craigavon-Courthouse

A Portadown man who assaulted his partner by throwing a bottle of sun cream at her has been handed 12 months probation.

The judge told the 31-year-old “this sort of offending is becoming a regular feature” and that he has “an inappropriate response to domestic situations”.

Gary Francey, of Beech Grove, pleaded guilty to common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday.

It was heard that on May 26, police received a report of a domestic assault at Pollock Drive in Lurgan.

Officers spoke to the injured party and activated body cam to capture her complaint.

She alleged at 6.35pm, the defendant had assaulted her by grabbing hold of her before hitting her on the back of the head five or six times.

The injured party claimed Francey then put his fingers in her eyes and squirted sun cream on her.

The defendant was subsequently arrested and replied: “That’s 100%”.

During interview at Lurgan police station, Francey admitted to assaulting the injured party but claimed he had grabbed her by the wrist and bicep.

He denied punching her or making any contact with her eyes.

The injured party later made it known that she did not wish to proceed with the complaint.

Prosecution revealed that during interview, Francey admitted to having a verbal altercation with the injured party after he spoke to her neighbour.

He said the injured party sprayed the sun cream on him; he responded by spraying it back on her and throwing it at her head.

Francey then claimed he grabbed her by the wrist and bicep; he accepted this constituted an assault.

The defendant said he had told the injured party to contact police and waited outside until they arrived.

Defence solicitor Richard Montieth stated: “During interview, without legal representation, he made admissions to throwing the bottle of sun cream at her and restraining her.

“Mr Francey has a problem with alcohol, even if he does not accept it.”

He added: “He has not breached his bail conditions, has purchased a house and is open to all community service ordered or a combination order”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Mr Francey, this sort of offending is becoming a regular feature, you have an inappropriate response to domestic situations.”

Francey was sentenced to 12 months probation.

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