32-year-old jailed for assaulting partner

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The first man to be convicted of a domestic assault in Northern Ireland as a result of body worn camera footage has been jailed.

Gerard McGuinness, of Ballymagowan Gardens, was found guilty of common assault on November 9, 2014.

The 32-year-old was convicted after the body worn camera footage was admitted to evidence.

The injured party in the case declined to pursue her complaint.

The allegations involved a domestic assault but no details of the nature or the injuries sustained by the victim were given in open court.

It was revealed that McGuinness continued to maintain his innocence.

Defence counsel Michael Doherty said there has been a ‘mutual breakdown’ of the relationship since the assault but this was not acrimonious.

He added that this was McGuinness’s first conviction for domestic violence.

However, the barrister accepted there ‘appears to have been some sort of history between the pair, although this was always of a verbal nature and never crossed the line into anything physical’.

Jailing the defendant for six months, Judge McElholm sad this was a ‘disgraceful attack on a partner’.

He said that McGuinness continued to deny the offences and ‘blames his victim for the incident’.

The judge added if he had apologised or shown remorse he ‘could well have received a community sentence’.